Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP)

Letter No.: 
29th October, 1952.

The White Gates,
Dorking, Surrey.

Dear Frank,1

I am sorry about Reginald Redman and the Prelude. The story is as follows:
About a year ago I wrote some incidental music for a broadcast of the “Mayor of Casterbridge” and they asked me to make the music into a suite, which, accordingly, I did and I sent it down to Redman and said if he would like to make a copy of score and parts he was at liberty to do so, but that I wanted you to control it but would ask you to allow the Bristol B.B.C. Orchestra to perform it without further fee. Then I quite forgot to tell you about it.2
I therefore now ask you if you would care to control it in the usual way, with the provision that the B.B.C. Bristol Orchestra can perform it off their copy without further fee.
I hope that is all right.
As regards this “Music and Musicians” Magazine they can have a page from the copy of the full score if they want it.3


(R. Vaughan Williams).

Alan Frank, Esq.,
Oxford University Press,
44, Conduit St., W.1.

1. Music Editor in succession to Norman Peterkin (1947); Head of Music from 1954 until his retirement in 1975.
2. Frank had written to VW saying he had received from Reginald Redman the manuscript of Prelude on an Old Carol Tune (Catalogue of Works 1952/5) without any explanation and wondered what action he was to take. The Prelude is based on the incidental music which VW had written for the BBC radio serial based on The Mayor of Casterbridge broadcast in early 1951 (Catalogue of Works 1950/5). However in this letter VW did not explain the connexion between the two works so Frank wrote again in some mystification to which VW’s reply is VWL2528. A file note at OUP, dated 14th October 1955 records that the incidental music for the Mayor of Casterbridge ‘is not to be confused with “Prelude on an Old Carol Tune”, a suite based on the Casterbridge music by VW, which we handle’.
3. Frank had also reported that the new magazine Music & Musicians had asked for permission to reproduce a page from the copied full score of Sinfonia Antartica and asked VW for his view.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 119
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Original database number: