Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Sir Henry Wood

Letter No.: 
VWL1909
March 29 [1944]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,
Dorking.

Dear Wood

I am almost ashamed to be always worrying you - but that is the inevitable penalty of your kindness of heart.
This time it is about Jelly d’Aranyi.1  It would, I am sure, give pleasure to her many friends & admirers if you could give her an appearance at the Promenade concerts or elsewhere.  I believe that at one time - largely owing to family sorrows her playing declined for a bit, but I understand that now she is playing as well as ever.2
What would give me the greatest pleasure would be to hear her and her sister, either in the Bach double concerto or in those delightful Spohr duets of which - so far as I know they were the only exponents.
Yours sincerely

R Vaughan Williams

P.S. On no account is this to be answered  RVW


1. She was the dedicatee of Bartok’s two violin sonatas, Ravel’s Tzigane and VW’s Concerto Accademico (Catalogue of Works 1925/7).  Her sister was the violinist Adila Fachiri.
2. This letter was followed two days later (see BL Add MS 56422, f. 158) by a formal joint letter to Wood signed by Sydney Cockerell, Lord Howard of Penrith, Neville & Sandra Lytton, Philip & Irene Noel-Baker and Desmond MacCarthy asking for her to be given an engagement, which she was on 26 July. Wood’s draft reply (see BL Add MS 56422, f. 158v) includes the following remarks to VW “There is no doubt dear Jelly is a great artist - but the last time she appeared at a Promenade Concert the B.B.C. decided definitely it was her last - I agreed for there was not a note in tune and she seemed to have gone right off the rails. I believe now that she suffered horribly over [her brother-in-law] Fachiri’s illness and death” and to Desmond MacCarthy “I have persuaded the B.B.C. to give this artist another opportunity & am glad to give you the date – July 26th”.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 56422, f. 157
General notes: 

In the hand of AVW, signed and with postscript by VW.
Year added in pencil.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 427
Original database number: 
440329