Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to John Ireland

Letter No.: 
VWL2479
Oct 5th [1952]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,
Dorking.

My Dear John

I was very much touched and very grateful to you for your characteristic and generous letter.1
I remember well that occasion at the College when 3 of us (You N.C. Gatty2 and I) had our tunes tried over - Yours though possibly immature had real mastery and a sure touch - N.C.G’s was probably the most mature - his “boat was small but he rowed well in it”.3
-  Mine was a horrible amateurish business now happily lost - it so happened that its style fitted in for the moment with C.V.S’s4 prejudices.
You know I have always envied your mastery of your method. I fear that I am only just beginning to conquer my amateurish awkwardness - now probably that it is too late.
Please can we have another “Things shall be”.5
Yrs with great affection

R. Vaughan Williams


1. The letter is presumably answering VWL2464 from Ireland with congratulations on VW's 80th birthday.
2. Nicholas Gatty
3. Unidentified quotation. The rehearsal referred to was probably one on 21 March 1901 when Ireland's Symphonic Prelude and VW's Heroic Elegy (Catalogue of Works 1900/1) were tried through.
4. Charles Villiers Stanford, teacher of all three at the Royal College of Music.
5. VW had conducted Ireland's These Things Shall Be at Dorking in 1944.

Location of original letter:

Location of copy:

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 588
Original database number: 
521005