Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Rutland Boughton

Letter No.: 
Monday [?21 May 1951]

The White Gates

Dear Rutland

Your long and interesting letter would take several weeks to answer properly so I will content myself with a few points - the music is not published yet because I wanted to hear it & make some revision - & I am glad I did - mostly purely technical questions.  Even the libretto (enclosed) is by now out of date (the “nocturne” with “Watchful” is not there).
I left out Valiant for Truth - one had to leave out many people (e.g Faithful) as his great speech wd not have gone well in the mouth of the Pilgrim - (as a matter of fact I once made a musical setting of Valiant’s speech).1
I, on purpose, did not call the Pilgrim “Christian” because I want the work to be universal and apply to any body who aims at the spiritual life whether he is Xtian Jew, Buddhist, Shintoist or 5th day2 Adventist.
As regards the Cathedral - it is, to my mind essentially a stage piece & I said I wd not allow it in a hall or church till it was fully established on the stage
Thank you so much for writing

R Vaughan Williams

1. Valiant for Truth, Catalogue of Works 1940/2.
2. sic.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 52366, ff. 111-112

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/19, ff. 40-43
General notes: 

Boughton’s letter was dated [Saturday] 12 May, so the date of the present letter is likely to have been written the following Monday week. VW had already acknowledged Boughton's letter of sympathy on the death of Adeline VW on May 10.
This letter, and Rutland Boughton’s to which it is a reply, are printed in Kennedy, Works of Vaughan Williams, pp. 312-33.

Cobbe 562; Kennedy, Works of Vaughan Williams, p.312-333.
Original database number: