Letter from Karl Straube to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
VWL537
Dez 5th 1923

Leipzig
Dorotheenplatz 1 ix

Dear Sir

I had the honour and great pleasure of bringing out your Mass in G-minor in St Thomas’s Church Leipzig, if I should be not wrong, as first performance in Germany.
The work made a very deep impression on the whole audience, indeed has made your name popular in Leipzig, the musicians were fascinated and the ‘connoisseurs’ of music over-powered by the beauty of the composition; we all have to bring thanks to you, for giving us this refined masterpiece of musical art.
Sincerely yours

Karl Straube.1


1. Kantor of St Thomas’s Church, Leipzig. The performance of the Mass, Catalogue of Works 1922/5, had been on 16 November. A letter from Kenneth Curwen of 7 August 1923 survives explaining that copies of the mass had had to be sent in effect gratis, though they had received a note for 5,000 marks which he suggested VW kept as a memento (it is still in UVW’s papers at the British Library, MS Mus. 1714/1/6, f.130). Straube had written to Curwen on 28 July 1923: ‘I find the mass very beautiful; it possesses the charm and the finished form which have always been the hall mark of the best English music. Especially the “Sanctus” must sound well, and make a deep impression.  I am very keen to hear how it will sound when sung by a German choir.  Could you not come to Leipzig for the performance?  As you have English pounds, it would mean very little expense to you.  I shall let you know the date, as soon as it is fixed. [translation]'

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/6, f.128
General notes: 

The translation in the footnote is at British Library MS Mus. 1714/1/6, f.126.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 139
Original database number: 
231205