Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Maud Karpeles

Letter No.: 
March 11 [1930]

The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Maud

(a) D. Brindley1 – certainly.
(b) I will be with you on Easter Monday at 11.45.
(c) I think the memo: is very good now – We say nothing about the music – but perhaps that ought to be the subject of a special discussion.  I feel there is something wrong about our musical arrangements but I can’t tell what; (Kurt2 gave me some ideas as to a new approach) – I think after my experience with you & the book we did together I should like to see a set of arrangements made by way of experiment without any reference to the dance done by musicians of imagination, and a real pfte technique (these particular arrangements need not be easy) & the dance shaped to fit the music – what we are (possibly) doing now is to emasculate the music so as to fit a style of dancing which you yourself say is its self emasculated – is not this a vicious circle?  I throw this out deliberately to raise your resentment, not because I necessarily think it is true, or a good solution.  Do you know Röntgens arrangement of Dutch Dances3 – I wish you wd get them & look at them. I shd like to see Harold Craxton do some arrangements perhaps “Durch Komponiert”


1. Reading uncertain.
2. Perhaps Kurt Jooss
3. Julius Röntgen's Old Dutch peasant songs and country dances, transcribed for piano were published by Augener in 1912.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/2/3/1, ff. 102-105
General notes: 

Date from context in file.

Original database number: