Letter from Ernest Irving to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
VWL2472
22nd September 1952

Ernest Irving
4, The Lawn,
Ealing Green, W.5.

Dear R.V.W.

Arktos has defeated them, so why don’t you call it “The Brumas Concerto”, though then I suppose they would associate it with a bad smell. One doesn’t expect much Greek from the BBC, but you would think they would look up the encyclopaedia to check up on the name of the South Polar Continent.1
The musical world seems to be in a whirl of Vaughan Williams, though I have’nt heard of anything of your being played in a night-club, unless Larry Adler has joined forces with Humphrey Lyttelton.
I thought the mouth-organ concerto was a clever work, but the instrument itself doesn’t seem worth your attention. Adler is a great virtuoso and it is a pity, I think, that he did not choose an instrument less essentially vulgar.2  Still, I suppose it was an adventure. I shall hope if all goes well, to see you at the Dorking do, to which I have been kindly invited by Miss Cullen.3
Don’t go and over-do it, though I suppose everybody is saying that just as ineffectually as
Yours ever

Ernest I.

Dr. R. Vaughan Williams., O.M.,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,
Dorking,
Surrey.


1. The reference is to [GREEK CHARACTERS] = bear, i.e. the constellation from which name of the polar regions are derived. Brumas was a celebrated polar bear cub at the London Zoo.
2. The Romance in D flat for Harmonica, Catalogue of Works 1951/4,  had been given its first London performance by Larry Adler at a Promenade Concert in the Albert Hall on 6th September.
3. Preparations for the celebration of VW’s 80th birthday were widespread.

Location of original letter:

Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
520922