Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Bush

Letter No.: 
VWL3200
October 2nd 1955.

From R. Vaughan Williams,
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park,
London, N.W.1.

Dear Bush,

Please forgive my delay in answering: I have only been back a few hours from a month in Europe, and no letters were forwarded.1
As regards your kind invitation, if you wish it – I feel that I cannot say no, though I admit that I had hoped to be able to work quietly for the next few months, except for a few already-made engagements.  But the question arises, am I the right person?  I am a great admirer of Stanford, both as composer and teacher, but I was not for long a pupil of his, and I think that the real influence on my work has been Parry.  Now, it seems to me that the man who really imbibed all the good of Stanford’s teaching was Herbert Howells; and last year he gave an excellent talk to the Musical Association about Stanford, his work and his teaching.2  May I venture to suggest that he should give the lecture and that I should, if you wish, add a little on the more general question on nationality in music?3
Yours sincerely,

R Vaughan Williams


1.  Bush had asked VW to speak on Stanford as a teacher to a meeting of the Composers Concourse on 17 November.  The VWs had been in Greece.
2.  Howells’s lecture to the Musical Association was published in Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, lxxix (1952-3), pp.19-25.
3.  In the event Howells was not free and VW spoke on Parry and Stanford, with Gerald Finzi in the chair.

Subjects:

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
not yet catalogued
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 658
Original database number: 
551002a