Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP)

Letter No.: 
VWL2032
April 9 [1946]

The White Gates,
Dorking.

Dear Frank

I have a copy of the “Lake” here & will send it to Phyllis Sellick for correction & will then send it on to you.1
- Thank you very much about the opera  - I agree about the orchestral playing - but - have you seen the band parts?!?2
Now it’s no good beating about the bush over this - we shall never get a good performance till we get new parts - the parts were originally copied (before it came into OUP hands) by any body & every body - students etc.
I shd have thought The OUP took over these parts & did nothing to them - for 17 years they have been scored & marked & rubbed out & rubbed in again by amateur or (worse still) student players.  It took me 10 days hard work to get them into some sort of shape before the 1st band rehearsal - I should have thought the first duty of your librarian when the parts came back was to put them in order - but her  …3


1. Peterkin had proposed in 1944 that Oxford University Press publish Lake in the mountains but VW had suggested waiting until VW had some other pieces to make a set. Frank had reminded VW about this on 19th March saying OUP were still keen on the idea. The piece is a reworking of the music for an episode in 49th Parallel, dedicated to Phyllis Sellick. Peterkin had written to VW on May 11 1944: 'I am glad to know you have some other  piano pieces in the offing. By all means let matter of Miss Sellick's piece wait publication till we can do the set. But please don't allow the idea to recede into the background too long for I really should like to see more of your piano music available and so would the public', but it appears that it had been in the background since then.
2. The first professional performance of Sir John in Love, Catalogue of Works 1928/3, had just taken place at Sadlers Wells. AVW had written: ‘R is deep in altering and adding to the parts of Sir John - the first orchestra try through next week’ (quoted R.V.W.: a biography,  p.267).
3. Remainder of the letter missing.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 2031A
Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
460409