Letter from Lucy Broadwood to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
VWL488
Jan. 29. 1922

3c Montagu Mansions
W.

Dear Ralph,

Thank you a million times for the gorgeously beautiful Symphony you gave us on Thursday.1  I hope that some of our joy returned, reflected, to you, and that to have the “old Philharmonic” shouting & waving to you across the dour bust of Beethoven was a happy thing, and a funny thing too, for you.  The one regret that I have is not to be, at such times, a young thing at a musical college - with young ears and enough training to understand the modern idiom.  Now and then I find a new musical nut very hard to crack, and now & then I know that certain things which I apprehended with some effort were easily and absolutely understood by the younger listeners & those more accustomed to hearing quite new things. Now I am longing to quickly hear your splendid Symphony again. The trumpet stirred me desperately - and how finely it was played! And surely the voice was perfection?2
It was funny that I was describing to my cousin here (who is musical, but not strong enough to go to concerts) the effect of your music in this Symphony.  I said that the stuff suggested granite rocks, heather, lichens, & great open spaces etc. to me.  Next day Mr Collis (wasn't it?) writes of tufts of grass & moss etc.3  So you see, you must be a painter in sound!
This has been hurriedly scrawled amongst interruptions, & it ill expresses my deep delight and admiration & enjoyment.
My love to Adeline, please,
Yrs most sincerely

Lucy E. Broadwood.


1.  A Pastoral Symphony, Catalogue of Works 1921/13, had received its first performance on 26th January at the Queen’s Hall with the orchestra of the Royal Philharmonic Society conducted by Adrian Boult.
2. Flora Mann.
3. H.C. Colles, Chief Music Critic of The Times, contributed an unsigned notice on 28th January and then a signed piece on Saturday 4th February entitled ‘Three symphonies: Vaughan Williams’ progress - the influence of Walt Whitman'.

Location of copy:

General notes: 

Printed for the most part in R.V.W.: a biography, p.140

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 127; R.V.W.: a biography, p.140
Original database number: 
220129