Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to John Barbirolli

Letter No.: 
17th October, 1951.

The White Gates,
Dorking, Surrey.

Dear John

It is wonderful of you to have time to think about my music when you have so much on your mind.
All your suggestions are most useful except, I fear, one, and that is the transferring of the tune in the trio of No.3 in the Fourth Symphony from tuba to trombone. I cannot help feeling that it is essentially a tuba tune.  Somebody said to me once it sounded like Falstaff and it wants that slightly fat oily sound which the tuba gives.  I put the bassoons in just to steady the tone of the tuba, but that can be left out if you prefer it and have a bare solo for the tuba.
By the way, if you give the opening of the fugue to the trombone it seems to me that the entry of the three trombones in the answer will be rather spoilt.
Otherwise your corrections are splendid.1

R. Vaughan Williams.
(R. Vaughan Williams).

Sir John Barbirolli,
Columbia Concerts, Ltd.,
127a Oxford Road,
Manchester 1.

P.S.  I have just received your copy of No.5 - I am also making some corrections including adding Flute and Clar[inet] to that place in the slow movt - the only way out of the difficulty I think.

1.  See earlier correspondence on this subject in VWL2274 and VWL2277.

Location of original letter:

General notes: 

Typewrriten, signed and postscript added in manuscript.

Cobbe 566
Original database number: