Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Adrian Boult

Letter No.: 
10th June, 1948.

The White Gates,

Dear Adrian

Thank you so much for your letter about “Vibrato”.1 I have decided to put nothing into the score2. If people cannot play it right by light of nature I feel that no amount of explanations will make them do it.3


Sir Adrian Boult,
Broadcasting House,
London, W.1.

1.  Boult had written on 1 June (see Music and friends: seven decades of letters to Adrian Boult (London, 1979), p.151):    Dear Ralph, Thank you so much for your letter. I have had a word with Paul Beard [leader of the B.B.C. Symphony] to make quite certain.  What we did was to have a good deal of it, particularly when the inner parts played all together, without vibrato.  The opening and the top line carried just a very little, but if you are thinking of putting senza vibrato in the score this would, perhaps, make the performance a little too flat.  It might be a useful guide to conductors if it were put against the inner parts occasionally. I hope this is what you want. Yours ever,  Adrian
2.  i.e. of Partita, Catalogue of Works 1938/5a.
3.  Boult replied on 24 June making a plea, on behalf of the ‘stupid performer’, for instructions to be added to the score since the performer ‘may misunderstand your instructions, but that is one stage better than having none’. See Moore, Music and friends, pp.151-2.

Location of original letter:

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/17, f. 144
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Moore, Music & friends, p.151
Original database number: