Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Arnold Barter

Letter No.: 
Dec 19th 1913

Ospedalette - Ligure

Dear Mr Barter

I have had an enthusiastic letter from McInnes, which increases the regret which I feel that I was not able to be present at your performance of the “Sea Symphony”.1  I do thank you & your performers from the bottom of my heart - it is that enthusiasm which makes everything live and which makes you & your people such a vital force in musical life.  Will you thank your choir & orchestra most heartily from me - I hope they recognise what an encouragement it is to a composer to feel that he has friends, through his music, whom he has never seen.
Yrs sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams

1. The Bristol Philharmonic Society had given a further performance of A Sea Symphony following that of April 1911 (the third performance of the work) with Campbell McInnes as soloist. Writing to VW in 1942 Steuart Wilson observed in connexion with a performance of the Sea Symphony: ‘All the way through … I was haunted by Jim McInnes’ voice - I don’t think anyone will ever sing it so well again’-  see VWL344.


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