Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Herbert John Sumsion

Letter No.: 
VWL3617
[June 1928]

My Dear Sumsion1
First let me welcome you back to England & express my pleasure at the good sense of Gloucester in making this appointment.
I'm awfully sorry my wretched old suite is causing you trouble - it really is not worth it. - I never cmake out what the trouble was - W. Reed2 originally asked me if I had any thing for small orch - & I suggested this - Then I was officially asked about March what orchestra it was written for & told them - since then I have had letters at intervals from the secretary asking if I cd "do" it (?) for a quite different orchestra - for which I invariably replied telling them what the orchestration is - I really [? think] if it is to be done at all it must be done as written at a festival - or not at all.
I'm not very keen on the work any way - but its only chance is to be played as it was written.
Why not substitute something by E. Smyth3 - this would I am sure put an end to a lot of heart-burning & I feel sure that she wd arrange anything for any orchestra you chose to name.

Yrs  R Vaughan Williams

P.S. The 1 percussion is a minimum - the player wd have to do a sort of egg dance round his various instruments
P.P.S  On 2d thoughts - failing E. Smyth - & to save you trouble which I want above all things to do - wd you like to do my "Charterhouse" Suite for strings only (I presume they are providing you with complete strings at this concert)4
RVW


1. Sumsion had just returned from America and been appointed as organist of Gloucester Cathedral, where he would lead the Three Choirs Festival.
2. W.H. Reed
3. Ethel Smyth
4. In the event the Charterhouse Suite was included in the programme.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1752/2/2, ff. 25-28
General notes: 

Date extrapolated as Sumsion returned to England in June 1928.

Format: 
Letter