Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Paul Henry Lang

Letter No.: 
VWL3436
October 18th, 1956

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

Dear Mr Lang1

I have been sent your notice of my eighth symphony in which you suggest that the opening of the slow movement was taken from the Passion Chorale. This is to a certain extent true: I was thinking about the slow movement and how I wanted a cello tune, an[d] it suddenly occur[r]ed to me how lovely that chorale would sound on the cellos, so, as far as I can remember, without deliberately adopting it, the two themes got mixed up in my mind with the result you know. I am quite unrepentant!
Yours sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams


1. Professor of Musicology, Columbia University 1939-69, author and music critic, and editor of the Musical Quarterly 1945-1973.

Location of original letter:

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 699
Original database number: 
561018