Letter from Adeline Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi

December 30 [1948]

The White Gates

Dear Gerald

At last I have been able to read what you sent to the ‘Times’.1  It was printed in the 1st edition only and eluded us and we owe this find to Mr Lofthouse. (Dec 23) Is it possible that your notice can be re-printed somewhere so that his friends may read it? The official notice in the ‘Times’ was a disgrace - utterly inadequate and as R says untrue. We were so hurt and indignant at such stupidity. You have written what was wanted - and so beautifully.
R does so want M’s music to be heard again - Love to you both
Yrs

AMVW


1.  An appreciation of R.O. Morris, which appeared in the early editions of The Times on 23 December 1948:-
I feel that I should like to add to your obituary of Dr R.O. Morris, a teacher whose influence has been so great and a personality so unique that any discussion which concentrates on his academic work leaves out almost everything of his elusive and sensitive personality.
With his power of focusing upon the subject of the moment he mastered and enjoyed many things, and having done so his interest might then entirely cease. Thus his early days as a musical journalist have been forgotten, but both for judgement and prose style his work was amongst the finest of its time. In his day he had been a fine cricketer; he enjoyed golf and good wines, bridge, and even Corinthian bagatelle. He carried learning with a fantastic lightness, so that jokes such as the "Bugsworthy" episode could be found in a serious work like "Contrapuntal Technique of the Sixteenth Century".
His work as a composer was concentrated into a few years. During that time an aloof and astringent style grew into comparative ease and geniality. The culminating point of this dside of this work was a Wigmore Hall concert given by his friends. After that he seems to have deliberately written no more and to have lost entire interest in his creative work. There was, he said, too much bad music already being written. There was nothing to be done against this innate scepticism, but to many it seemed tragic that his remarkable mind went so far and no farther in this direction, for he left work of memorable beauty, from the sixth Canzona for string quartet to "Corinna's Maying."
 

Subjects:

Format: 
Letter
Letter No.: 
VWL2939
Original database number: 
481230
Editor's notes: 
location