Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to John Barbirolli

Letter No.: 
12th March, 1952.

The White Gates,
Dorking, Surrey.

Dear John

You will remember when you were last in London I talked about a new orchestral work I wanted to show you.  I tried it through on the pianoforte to some friends when I asked you to come.1 Since then I withdrew it and have revised it considerably.
Would there possibly be time for me to show it to you while I am in Manchester?2  The score is still in a very rough state and I do not think even you could read it, but I have a pianoforte arrangement.  Unfortunately I am not a good enough pianist to play it myself, but if you would like to hear it perhaps you have a very good sight reader who could play it through.
But perhaps there will not be time for all this in Manchester and it will have to wait until you next come to London.
The music is founded on what I wrote for the “Scott of the Antarctic” film which was directed by Ernest Irving.  I have therefore dedicated it to him.
If by any chance you thought well of it it would be a great honour to me if you could conduct it at one of your next season’s Hallé Concerts.3

R. Vaughan Williams
(R. Vaughan Williams)

Sir John Barbirolli,
Hallé Concert Society,

1.  See VWL2357 and VWL2358.
2.  VW was to conduct two performances of the Sea Symphony with the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester and one in Sheffield.
3.  Sinfonia Antartica was given by the Hallé on 14 January 1953.


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Typewritten, signed.

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