Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Roy Douglas

Letter No.: 
Sept 10 [1951]

The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Roy

As there seem to be about to be a good many performances of my symphonies I think they ought to be overhauled. I am sending you ‘pastoral’ & ‘No. 5’ - will you help me by going through them carefully & suggesting alterations in any places where in your opinion the texture (& especially the orchestration) does not ‘come off’.
It is often difficult to decide whether one ought to score for the wireless, the concert room, or the Albert Hall - also I am getting deaf & things which are probably all right sound all wrong to me: e.g. No. 5 V.1 & 2 p.2 figure (1) I often over the wireless have literally not heard the violins & even in the concert room I have only just heard it - yet it looks all right!
Of course if you kindly undertake this if will be as between you & me & not between you & the publisher.
The red ink corrections already in the pastoral are already in the parts - those in No 5 are not.
How is the opera going - Act III is ready for you whenever you want it.1

R Vaughan Williams

1. Pilgrim's Progress.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 63547, ff.33-37
Cobbe 564; Douglas, Working with Vaughan Williams, p.30
Original database number: