Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP)

Letter No.: 
VWL2128
Oct 5 [1946]

The White Gates,
Dorking.

Dear Frank

In answer to your letter (NP/ACP/2008D & 119)
(1) Mullinar - I gave him I think £5-5-0 for the arrangement of the oboe concerto - I feel he ought to have his share of the moneys received from sale of copies so I suggest that you pay him an estimated share of my royalties in one sum & put it against my royalties (This is I think what you suggest).1
(2) Cooper - I shall of course pay him the arranger’s fee according to the musicians union scale - But I feel that he ought also to have a share of performing fees - So I must estimate that as best I can & capitalize it2 - This brings up the whole question of the PRS about which I have already spoken to you in the case of Muir Mathieson3 - It is a scandal that the PRS should arrogate to themselves the right to say whether a man is a “composer” or not - They are just a collecting agency & every one who has a work performed should automatically become a member of the PRS & get a share of the fee - in these cases where the composer or arranger is not a member of the PRS where does the money go to?
Echo answers ‘where’?4
Yrs

R Vaughan Williams


1.  Michael Mullinar had made the orchestral reduction for the published score of the Oboe Concerto, Catalogue of Works 1944/1. VW was always concerned that those who contributed in such ways should be adequately recompensed. Frank had proposed an outright fee rather than a continuing share in VW’s royalties from sale of the published copies.
2.  Joseph Cooper had reworked the solo part of the Piano Concerto (Catalogue of Works 1931/3) for two pianos.
3.  Mathieson had arranged a suite from VW’s music for the film Coastal Command, Catalogue of Works, 1942/1.   
4.  An allusion to the lines in Byron’s The bride of Abydos, c.ii, str.27:
Hark to the hurried question of despair
“Where is my child?” An echo answers “where?”

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 2008D
Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 466
Original database number: 
461005