Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to The Musical Times

Letter No.: 
February 1938


Miss Engel Lund’s Recital


I am really very sorry for ‘H. J. K.’  The muse of traditional art is notoriously proud and reserved.  She has evidently averted her face from H. J. K.’s ardent gaze, so I feel inclined to sympathize with him when he has to console himself in his discomfiture by murmuring, ‘Well, perhaps she has not got a face after all.’1
He has evidently still to realize the supreme art and also the immense difficulty of that absolute simplicity which Miss Engel Lund has achieved.
At present he reminds me of the schoolboy who said ‘I could have written all that Shakespeare stuff myself if I had thought of it.’
Yours, &c.,

R. Vaughan Williams.

1.  'HJK' had reviewed a recital entitled ‘Folksongs of all nations’ at the Wigmore Hall by Engel Lund by pointing out that the programme contained a portrait of the singer in a black robe with her face averted and had drawn the analogy that folksongs also were too featureless to enable the singer to demonstrate her talent and that she would have done better to sing Lieder.


Cobbe 288; Musical Times, Vol. 76, February 1938, p.139
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