Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Arnold Barter

Letter No.: 
October 13th 1955.

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

My dear Barter,

Thank you so much for remembering my birthday and for the lovely flowers.
I remember well my first correspondence with you over the Sea Symphony, 1911, and then later I came and conducted it and made a fearful mistake in the last movement.
We did not go to Hereford this year as we had planned a visit to Greece, and the programme did not attract me. This does not mean that I was not in thorough sympathy with putting me and other old fogeys such as Gerald and Herbert Howells on the shelf! But in the first draft of the programme our place had not been taken by the younger English generation as it should have been. This was partly rectified later, but they ought never to have done Huber.1 I heard the orchestral rehearsal and it seemed deadly to me.2 We enjoyed our trip in Greece very much.
I hope we shall soon meet again.
With kind regards from us both,

R. Vaughan Williams

1. Swiss composer, Paul Huber.
2. Under Meredith Davies’ direction, the Festival that year was aiming at a new look. English music included Berkeley’s Four poems of St Theresa of Avila, Bliss’s Colour Symphony and Meditations on a theme by John Blow, and Geoffrey Bush’s choral suite In praise of Mary. The notice of the festival in Musical Opinion noted ‘Apart from one unfortunate venture (Huber’s The Prodigal Son) the Festival may be reckoned an important success’.


Shelfmark of original letter: 
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Cobbe 660
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