Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Simona Pakenham

Letter No.: 
August 19th 1958

From R. Vaughan Williams,
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park
London, N.W.1.

Dearest Simona
I have been roughing out the music for the play, and I have come to the conclusion that I cannot do without an orchestra of less than 40 - there ought to be plenty of room for that in the Drury Lane pit. Namely, strings, 8,6,4,4,3. flute, piccolo, oboe, 2 clarinets, i bassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, timps, perc. harp. I am sorry about it, but unless we have this we shall be hopelessly understringed.1
Love to you both

1. VW was writing about The First Nowell (Catalogue of Works 1958/3), see p.254. He was arguing against constraints imposed by the orchestra pit at the Drury Lane Theatre where the work was to be performed.  VW eventually agreed to an orchestra of 32; see VWL3267. The first performance was conducted by John Churchill at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 19 December 1958.

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Typewritten, signed.