Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to F.W. Evans

Letter No.: 
VWL194
March 14th [1905]

10, Barton St
Westminster
S.W.

Dear Sir

I am much obliged for your letter. Two points suggest themselves to me
(1) I think it a great mistake to have the masque out of doors - as far as the music is concerned, as it will not be heard out of doors.

(2) Could not the orchestra be strengthened by some more good string players - it is hardly adequate as it stands.

I find it very difficult to work on the music without consulting with the stage-manager as to where music will be wanted and how much - also whether any action goes on during the choruses etc. Is it likely that any of the committee will be coming up to London soon & cd come & talk with me about it. The time is getting so short and I don't see how it is all to be learnt in time. I have already written most of the music for the hymns but I am working in the dark. On the next page I am writing down the various points with queries where I want instruction.
(1) I shall write a short prelude to the whole work.
(2) Entrance of the 2 nymphs - these lines are, I presume, spoken not sung - is this so?
(3) "Loud Music" - Does this accompany a change of scene. If so how long does it take.
(4) Antimasque of the Boeotians - Do the morris dancers have their own instruments or am I to arrange them for the orchestra? Also are they wedded to their tunes? I know many traditional English dance tunes which are much finer than those you mention and might be substituted. But I do not mind about this.
(5) Has any particular kind of dance been settled on for the "entry" of the Masques after Hymn I?
(6) "Here the revels" - what does this consist of?
(7) I propose writing some music to be played after the last speech.

Yours faithfully

R. Vaughan Williams

 

General notes: 

VW was preparing music for Pan's Anniversary celebrations at Stratford-upon-Avon; see VWL191 and VWL3986.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 36
Original database number: 
050314