Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Simona Pakenham

Letter No.: 
February 9th 1958

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

Dearest Simona

I am sorry if I didn’t explain myself - I’d love to help you by talking about folk song into hymn tune, - the only thing I can’t do is to quote the original words (Ursula thinks I am silly about this). I don’t think Helmsley appeared in a C of E Hymn Book till I put it into the E.H. in 1906. Of course I don’t DISapprove of your scheme as a whole1 - and to prove this I give you the following as a present ... Jesu meine Freude was originally a love song, Flora meine Freude.
I believe that Margery Cullen is going to ask you to do a write-up of the Matthew Passion (no fee) for the Dorking paper. I should love you to do it if she asks you - you can say anything you like, but there must be no comparison between the two performances.2


1.  A series of BBC programmes entitled ‘Sacred & Secular’.
2.  The first performance was to be conducted by Sir Thomas Armstrong, the second by VW.

Location of original letter:

Cobbe 733
Original database number: