Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guthrie Foote (OUP)

Letter No.: 
VWL3755
2nd. September, 1949.

The White Gates,
Dorking, Surrey.

Dear Mr. Foote,
I am returning, under separate cover, the proofs of the string parts of the "Concerto",1 but I am keeping back the ad. lib2 parts until I have the score of the Third Movement, to correct them from.
I am rather unhappy about these parts. It is a pity that your copyist did not let me check them before they were engraved. I think an intelligent copyist would have realised that those elaborate divisions of strings which are all right in the score in order to save space, are quite illegible actually to play off - e.g. Violin 2 Tutti at Fig.1, and there are many other cases.
I do not quite know what to do with this because if we alter it it will mean re-engraving the whole page I fear. Perhaps you would like to ask some expert experienced orchestral player whether he thinks the parts are readable as they stand?
I hope it will be possible to reprint the Intrada at the end as turning back all those pages would be very difficult. In that case, the note at the end of Page 1 of the parts must be deleted.
I think the title of the ad.lib. parts is wrong. For example:"Violin 1., ad. lib." looks as if the whole first violin part was ad libitum, so I think we must alter it thus: "Ad. lib. Violin 1." etc and the same with all the other "ad. lib." parts.3
Yours sincerely,
R Vaughan Williams

(R. Vaughan Williams).

G. Foote, Esq.,
Oxford University Press,
38a. Soho Square,
London, W.1.


1. VW's Concerto grosso for string orchestra.
2. sic.
3. Foote replied on 6 September agreeing that the 'worst offenders' in the divisi passages would be re-engraved, and the Intrada would be reprinted at the end.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
119H
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Format: 
Letter