Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ernest Farrar

Letter No.: 
VWL363
[9th May 1910]

13 Cheyne Walk
S.W.

Dear Mr  Farrar,1

Please forgive my not answering your letter before - I have been very busy & all my correspondence has got in arrears.
Will you remind me a little more about that librettist - I have so many in my mind’s eye & I can’t remember which one I talked about.
I suppose I must congratulate you on your appointment - I certainly congratulate them - but it’s a beastly job being organist and unless one is very careful lowers one’s moral tone (not to speak of one’s musical) horribly.  Of course one has to do bad music everywhere but in our other jobs it is naked and unashamed, Church Music always pretends to be good.2  
I don’t know C. Franck’s str 4tet but am quite willing to be converted by it.3
How is the Open Road?4
Yrs very sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams


1.  English composer and organist, teacher of Gerald Finzi.  See The New Grove, and Adrian Officer, ‘Harrogate and Ernest Farrar’, Finzi Trust Friends Newsletter, xiv no.1.
2. Farrar had just been appointed organist of St Hilda’s, South Shields from a field of 70 applicants. See Officer, op.cit.
3. String Quartet in D major, first performed in 1890.
4. Farrar’s Orchestral Rhapsody no.1, op.9.

Location of original letter:

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/4, ff.1-2
General notes: 

Date from postmark

Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
100509