Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ernest Farrar

Letter No.: 
VWL378
[31st December 1911]

13 Cheyne Walk
S.W.

Dear Mr Farrar,

Please forgive my delay in answering your letter. I looked out a score to send you and found it required some revision - I will send it off tomorrow - on the whole I am sending you more than one in case you find anything you would care to put down on your programme1 viz 
1) Two Impressions for small orchestra (These have cor anglais, but I have cued it in as you will see).2
2)  Overture to Aristophanes “Wasps”.
3)  Fantasia on a theme by Tallis for string orchestra.  (This, I think, is the best thing I have done).
It’s awfully good of you to think of doing something of mine.  I’m very glad to think of you getting conducting, it’s the best kind of composition lesson, I think.
I wish I could have heard your songs but hope to do so in London soon.
As to instrumental music - it’s a very difficult problem finding a publisher.  I think Novellos might be worth trying, or Schotts, or of the small people, Larway or Goodwin and Tabb.
 Are you coming south at all?  Look me up if you do so.
Yours very sincerely,

R. Vaughan Williams

P.S.  Of course don’t hesitate to say if my things aren’t suitable.


1. Farrar was to conduct the annual concert of the South Shields Orchestral Union on 27th March.
2. The advertised programme included ‘Orchestral impression’ by VW; according to an annotation in a copy of the South Shields Gazette for March 8th this was Harnham Down, Catalogue of Works 1904/6. VW may also have sent In the Fen Country.

Location of original letter:

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/4, ff.3-4 (typed transcription from tape)
General notes: 

The letter is postmarked 12.15am 1st January 1912 and would therefore have been written on 31st December 1911.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 75
Original database number: 
111231