Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Elizabeth Maconchy

Letter No.: 
VWL1926
Aug 13 [1944]

The White Gates,
Dorking.

Dearest Betty

I listened to Puck1 – & have been waiting to coordinate my ideas about it. – I feel I am going to like much of it – but I feel baffled at present – the atmosphere does not seem clear at present.  I do not know whether you want it to be gay or sinister – at present it seems rather to fall between 2 stools.  The Goat I definitely like straight away & the Lovers – the tinkers seems to me definitely too short and not to have time to say any thing – do make it into a larger piece
Evening seems to me not worthy of the rest in distinction of style.
But, dearest Betty, you know how impossible it is to judge of a brand new work absolutely on first hearing.  So we want to hear it several times
All my love

Uncle Ralph 


1.  A suite from Maconchy's ballet, Puck Fair had been performed at the Proms on 5 August 1944 by Boult and the BBC Orchestra.  Puck Fair is a traditional event which takes place each year in Killorglin, Co. Kerry. Maconchy had grown up in Ireland and the full version of the ballet was first performed there.

Location of original letter:

Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
440813a