Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to John Barbirolli

Letter No.: 
VWL2774
8th July, 1948.

The White Gates,
Dorking.

Dear Barbirolli,

It was a fine performance at Cheltenham, and it came through very well.  Thank you and your orchestra very much.
The first movement was wonderfully clear, as also was the third.  I liked the slow opening of the slow movement. The only thing I find not quite happy (and perhaps that was only the wireless) was the reiterated trumpets.  I originally put dots over the notes and that made them sound too perky altogether, so I changed these to stress marks and now that seems to have taken some of their fierce quality away.  I do not quite know what the solution is, but it may be only over the wireless.1
I hope I shall hear you do it again one day.  Perhaps not over the wireless.
Thank you also for your postcard from abroad which gave me great pleasure.
I also listened to Arthur Benjamin's Symphony which impressed me very much.  I think the Second Movement is the most completely satisfactory. The beginning and the end of the Third Movement are fine, but it seems to fall to pieces a little in the middle.
The First Movement I did not altogether get hold of and in the last movement I could not hear all the tunes he promised us but that may have been the wireless reception.2
Please give my kind regards to your Wife and thank her for her share in the Postcard.
Yours sincerely,

R. Vaughan Williams.
(R. Vaughan Williams).

John Barbirolli, Esq.,
Hallé Concert Society,
Manchester.

P.S. Your letter just arrived many thanks for it


1.  Barbirolli had conducted a performance of the Sixth Symphony.
2.  A few days later Benjamin asked VW to accept the dedication of his symphony - see VWL2777.

Location of original letter:

General notes: 

Typewritten, signed and added postscript.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 496
Original database number: 
480708