Letter from Ernest Irving to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
8th January 1953

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

Dear R.V.W.

I hate to worry you about it, but I have received some press cuttings, two from Manchester and one from “Music & Musicians”, which purport to reproduce your notes on the Sinfonia Antarctica. They all omit your mention of the dedication of the symphony.
As I am sure you know, I am tremendously proud of the dedication, which is the nicest thing that has happened to me in the whole of the sixty years of my musical life. I have suppressed any attempts to publicize it until such time as you announced it yourself, and it is very disappointing for me and Echo, that when you do announce it, they leave it out.
This note is to ask you if you would be so kind as to ask the BBC to include it, if they quote your notes.
You seem to be riding rough-shod over this hard winter. I have just struggled through, I think successfully, two days recording some jolly music by Georges Auric for “The Titfield Thunderbolt”!
For the 21st the Phil have got a new and very fine photograph of you to embellish the front page of their programme, a fine upstanding bust which looks like a sculpture . I wish you every success at Manchester and am really sorry that I cannot be there; but - touch wood - I shall be wheeled triumphantly along on January 21st.1
Yours affectionately

Ernest I.

1. The occasion was the first London performance of Sinfonia Antartica, given by the Hallé orchestra under Barbirolli at a Royal Philharmonic Society Concert. Irving was confined to a wheel chair.

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