Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Fritz Hart

Letter No.: 
March 25 [1948]

The White Gates,

Dear Fritz

I was glad to get your letter and will try to perpetrate a few bits of local news.  The chief seems to be the proposed 1951 festival for which commissions and competitions are flying about everywhere - Opera, large small & medium, Ballet, symphony, concerto, unison song and what-not.  I fear the result will be, as usual, still-born. 
Do you remember Dunhill’s series of your “2nd performance” concerts which were labelled by some wit “last performance concerts”.1
There is to be also an Elgar festival quite soon.  Have you seen Bernard Shores new book “16 Symphonies” - it is very good.2
I am recovering from a performance in Dorking of the Matthew Passion - last Saturday.  We had 85 children to sing the ripieno in No.1 so they were heard- & we had 8 flutes for ‘let him be crucified’ so they were heard.
I have just finished a very interesting book about Delius by Hutchings.3  He argues that the fact that Delius never went down into the Arena and fought with beasts, but lived a (fairly comfortable) “life beautiful” at Gres had no influence on his music.  I feel that some of Gustav’s struggles wd have added strength to his undeniable beauty.
My love to Marvel


1.  These were founded in 1907. See The New Grove Dictionary.
2.  Published in 1947.
3.  Arthur Hutchings, Delius (London 1948).

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS 2809
Cobbe 494
Original database number: