Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Percy Pitt

Letter No.: 
VWL4718
[c.1915-1916]

Y.M.C.A. with H.M. Forces on Active Service

Dear Mr Pitt1
I am v. sorry but I am hospital orderly for the next fortnight which means I am at it all day & every day.
The work is quite straightforward - the tempo shd be as quick as possible provided the wind instruments can play the 1st subject
 

clearly - then the beat remains practically the same throughout
Yrs sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams


1. Pitt was a conductor at Covent Garden and eventually Director of Music at the BBC. Eric Saylor suggests that "the extract appears to be the rhythm to the first theme from the overture to The Wasps; the only odd bit is the rather sketchy notation after the second quaver-semiquaver figure, but those should be two quavers followed by four semiquavers."

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Egerton MS 3306, f. 161
General notes: 

Written on YMCA headed notepaper. Date estimated; it appears from the content of the letter that VW was in England, where he was with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War; he was posted to France in June 1916.

Format: 
Letter