Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi

Letter No.: 
VWL2015
Nov 8 [1945]

The White Gates
Dorking

Dear Gerald

Thankyou very much.1 Your criticisms give food for thought - Bruce Richmond2 also objects to By ends. I feel he is wanted as the 3rd obstacle on the Pilgrims way (Physical force - temptation- ½ hearted sympathy) - but I do agree then if we must avoid after By ends exit picking up exactly where we were - that can easily be done.
(By the way years ago I saw a dramatic version of PP where By ends came in just there - & I thought it was good.)
I think I want the Epilogue for the very purpose of bringing us back to earth (by the way the new end is quite different from the `shepherds'3). If you cut the Epilogue you must also cut the prologue. 
- But as you say without the music one can only detect glaring impossibilities - & that is all I asked.
Now as regards singers
Captain Aylwyn Best RM
Buff's Close Camp
Faringdon Berks
 
- he is not a very good timer but his words & voice are excellent.
How about the enclosed?
Love to Joyce
Yrs
RVW


1.  Finzi had sent VW comments on the libretto of The Pilgrim's Progress, saying that it was difficult to judge it without the music (for example the libretto of Britten's Peter Grimes alone gave no idea of the force of the opera).  He was puzzled by the proposed treatment of the Pilgrim's fight with Apollyon through lighting; the Vanity Fair scene was exciting but the scene with Mister and Madam By-Ends was an anti-climax after it.  The incorporation of The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains worked well but he felt that the Epilogue at the end with Bunyan was 'a barbarous intrusion' after the alleluias and the trumpet.
2.  Editor of Times Literary Supplement.
3.  The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains.

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
Finzi Box 10
General notes: 

Yea from postmark.  This letter is written in response to VWL2013.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 450
Original database number: 
451108