Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Kennedy

Letter No.: 
Aug 29 [1946]

The White Gates

Dear Mr Kennedy1

I was much touched by your letter – one of the advantages of  putting down black dots on paper is that it forms a means of communication and sympathy with people whom we may never meet in life (though I hope we may one day)
I am glad you like the end of the slow movt of my F minor symph
It may interest you to know that records of my “Job” are now out & “Flos Campi” very soon2
Please write again if you feel moved to
Yours sincerely

R Vaughan Williams

1.  Addressed to Commander G. M. S. Kennedy 19 Mess, H M S Ulysses, c/o  F. M. O., Devonshire. Michael Kennedy, Associate Northern Editor and (from 1950) staff music critic (Joint Chief Critic from 1987) for The Daily Telegraph; Chief Music Critic of The Sunday Telegraph from 1989; writer on music.  He became a close friend of both Ralph and Ursula Vaughan Williams and advocate of his music, eventually taking on the chairmanship of the RVW Trust and RVW Ltd, the bodies set up to administer VW’s estate. According to R.V.W.: a biography, p.317, Kennedy and VW started corresponding in 1945 but the date of this letter indicates that it was in fact 1946. VW’s use of the title ‘Commander’ in addressing Kennedy was based on a misinterpretation of the abbreviation Cdr which in fact in Kennedy’s case meant ‘Coder’.  VW’s promotion of Kennedy became a joke between them.
2.  Both from HMV conducted by Boult, Flos Campi with William Primrose.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 159, ff.1-2
General notes: 

Year date taken from postmark.

Cobbe 462
Original database number: