Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to René Gatty

Letter No.: 
[4 October 1900]

Grand Hotel

My dear Herr Gatty
Ralph & I have been very pleased & touched by yr letters to us. The best news to us will be to hear you are quite well again & I am much reassured now that I know you are in the hands of a good doctor. You will treat us like friends won't you & let us know when we can send you anything more - I know how much gets swallowed up in illness.1
Yr letter caused me to have a heated argumnet with Ralph on the appropriateness of the word 'vanish'd'. I proved it was a perfcetly becoming epithet for a butterfly - he will perhaps tell you something different! - but I'm very glad you have had yr poems read & criticised by someone who is intelligent & not unsympathetic. [...]

As you see I am writing from Birmingham where we have come for the Festival. We are being 'treated' & were hearing music all day for nothing - I wish Nicholas2 could have come here - Barclay Squire is in this hotel instead doing the work for the Globe3 - he talked with Ralph yesterday & said he had heard that Nicholas 'was doing his work very well' - I am sure he is - As to the music we have heard here, we had 'de Profundis' last night wh was rather a catastrophe, the sopranos coming in a bar early; some say Parry4 made the mistake, anyhow he was powerless to put things right. Yesterday - this must get finished up in pencil or it will never go - we heard Hiawatha5 last night & the best of antidotes for it this morning, St Matthew Passion6
Yrs always
A. Vaughan Williams

1. The VWs had sent money to Gatty to pay doctor's fees; see VWL
2. Nicholas Gatty, a composer and brother of René Gatty.
3. The Globe newspaper; Barclay Squire was a music critic for the paper.
4. Charles H.H. Parry, composer of De Profundis.
5. Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, by Coleridge-Taylor.
5. Bach, St Matthew Passion


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS 135

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/1, ff. 187-188
General notes: 

Date from references to Birmingham Music Festival performances.