Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Harold Brooke at Novello & Co.

Letter No.: 
28th June, 1950.

The White Gates,
Dorking, Surrey.


Dear Mr. Brooke, 
I fear that, when you get this letter you will tell me to mind my own business. Nevertheless, I take the risk.
I hear from my friend, Gerald Finzi, that it has been suggested to you that you should publish separately Parry's setting of the famous passage from Ecclesiastes "To every thing there is a season" out of his Cantata "Beyond these Voices".
It seems to me a splendid setting of wonderful and famous words, which does not make any effect because it is embedded in what is otherwise a rather dull Cantata.
I understand that you cannot see your way to print it, not on musical grounds, but that the words taken by themselves express a false philosophy of life. To this my answer is that the words are so well known that any philosophy to be obtained from them has done its work already - also that the 3rd. chapter of Ecclesiastes is said set for the First Lesson at Morning Prayer on August 4th, so that apparently the compilers of the Lectionary did not share your view.
I hope very much you will, after all see you way to publish it. I feel sure it will be useful to choral societies.
Yours sincerely,

(R. Vaughan Williams).

Harold Brooke, Esq.,
Messrs. Novello.

1. This copy was enclosed in a letter to Gerald Finzi; see VWL2008.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS. Mus. c.120, f. 182
General notes: 

Typewritten with manuscript annotations.