Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP)

Letter No.: 
16th December, 1948.

The White Gates,

Dear Frank,

I have several things to write to you about:
1. “Sir John”. Next time I come to London I will let you know and will arrange to go through the parts with your copyist.1
2. Ernest Irving wants to make a record of some of my “Scott” music2. I suppose that will be alright. Would you like to get into touch with him? The only difficulty to my mind is that it must not prevent my making later on a Symphony on the themes if ever I feel inclined to do so.
3. Edmund Rubbra asks me if I would write a theme for some variations which are to be written anonymously by various composers and published by Lengnick. The theme would, I take it, also be anonymous. Have you any objection?3
4. Concerto. My friend in Australia to whom I wanted to send the parts, tells me that he can only hire them by the month and as he wants them for several months for an amateur orchestra to play he is afraid it is impossible and he offered to buy the parts. I suppose that does not make any difference to your decision that I may not give him the set of parts which the O.U.P. presented to me years ago when the work first came out? The man’s name is Verdon G. Williams, 25 Lockhart Street, Caulfield, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
On 2nd thoughts I enclose his letter.4
Yours sincerely,

R. Vaughan Williams

Alan Frank, Esq.

1.  Sir John in Love (Catalogue of Works 1928/3) was to be performed by the Clarion Singers on 18 and 19 March at the Midland Institute, Birmingham. See R.V.W.: a biography, p.289. OUP had decided to make new string parts.
2.  Music from the film “Scott of the Antarctic” (Catalogue of Works 1948/2).
3.  It is not clear that VW agreed to Rubbra's request in the end though it possibly gave him an idea which later led to Diabelleries (Catalogue of Works 1955/6)
4.  This line added in manuscript.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 119
General notes: 

Typewritten, not signed.

Original database number: