Letter from Adrian Boult to Adeline Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
May 26th 1949

References: 03/M/ACB

I know Ralph refuses to be interested in the disposal of his MSS, but I thought the enclosed might interest you.1
The girl in question is apparently doing a lot of research work on Ralph's earlier music for a degree thesis, and Gerald Abraham wrote to me for advice about it, and I felt I could not resist offering the use of that precious MS.

Mrs Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates
Westcott Road,

1.  A note by Boult about the full score of the London Symphony owned by him:

The original MS of Vaughan Williams’ “London Symphony” was in Germany for engraving when the 1914 war broke out.  As Sir Dan Godfrey wanted to give a performance in Bournemouth it was necessary to make a new score pieced together from the parts.  This work was undertaken by Professor Edward Dent (the first pupil) and also, I believe, by George Butterworth (to whose memory the work is dedicated) and the composer.  It is possible also that Mr Bevis Ellis, who organised the concert at which it was first performed in March 1914, and Mr. Geoffrey Toye, who conducted it on this occasion, may have helped in this work.
When the composer gave me the Full Score somewhere about 1920, when the work was printed by the Carnegie Trust and published by Stainer & Bell, he very kindly had it bound in such a way that a student could discover the various alterations to the work subsequent to its first performance.  They consist mainly of cuts, which were made in my room at the War Office towards the end of 1918 [sic] war at the time when I was Personal Assistant to Lord Woolton.  I gave two performances of it then, and the composer felt that the hymnlike third subject in the last movement was out of place, and this involved cutting it wherever it occurred in the movement, and also, I think, re-writing one passage to cover its omission.  This is, I think, all discoverable from the MS, and is, or course, of great interest to students from many points of view.

There is no evidence in the correspondence with Dent at the time (see VWL348, VWL349, VWL413) that either Ellis or Toye was involved in the copying operation. The score is now in the British Library.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 72624
General notes: 

File copy.

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