Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Diana Awdry

Letter No.: 
[August 1929]

13 Cheyne Walk

My Dear Diana

Our Dorking programme is as follows

Mens voices

Wagner. Sailors chorus (Dutchman) (Novello)

Villages Div I
Gibbs. Fol-dol-do1 (Curwen)

Villages Div II
Gibbs. Spanish Main (Curwen)

Solo 4tets

Brahms ‘A little bird’ (?)
Part 2 (No 6) of Liebeslieder
(New edition (8vo) with English words (Lengninck2)

Villages Div I
“What is’t I seek” Jones3 (Curwen?)

Villages Div II
Campion “Never weather beaten sail” (Stainer & Bell)

As to full chorus -
Have you ever done
“How lovely” Brahms (Requiem)4
“Judas Maccabaeus” Handel (choruses 8, 11, 20, 53 I think)

Women’s voices

Scarlatti “Where my thoughts” (Stainer & Bell)

Villages div I
Holst “Love on my heart” Novello

Villages div II
Irish folksong arr by Day “I’ll rock you to rest” (Boosey)


“See, see the shepherds green” (5 pts) (transposed edition) (Stainer & Bell)

Villages Div I
Tomkins “Oyez, has any found a law"5 (transposed edition if there is one - if not put up with g) (Stainer & Bell)

Villages Div II
Mundy “Heigh I’ll go to plough” (Sopranos to divide - T. & B. both to sing B part) (Stainer & Bell)

Part song

Folksong arr by Morris “I’m 17 come Sunday” (O.U. Press)

Villages Div I
Irish folksong arr by Stanford “The Arbutus Tree” (Boosey)

Villages Div II
Folksong arr by Holst “Swansea Town” (Curwen)

“Sleepers wake”                                                              Bach6
“L’Allegro” (selection)                                                     Handel
“To the[e] Cherubim”
(Dettingen Te Deum)                                                      Handel
“Soul of the World”                                                         Purcell
“Bide with us”                                                                 Bach7 
“God’s own time”                                                           Bach8  (fairly hard)
“Festival Te Deum”                                                         Holst
Tannhauser march                                                         Wagner
(trs to Bb)
Song of Destiny                                                             Brahms
2 Psalms                                                                       Holst
Songs of the Fleet                                                         Stanford
Dido & Aeneas                                                              Purcell
As the heart9 pants                                                       Mendelssohn
Samson (selection)                                                        Handel
“Before the paling of the stars”                                     Dale
(not very easy)

I think there is a potted Lohengrin & Carmen done like the potted Meistersinger pub. by Curwen or a selection from Handel’s “Saul”.
It’s joyful news you are to be at Worcester.

R. Vaughan Williams

1. "Fol, dol, do'" chorus for unaccompanied men's voices by C. Gibbs
2. sic
3. Robert Jones (fl. 1575-1617), 'What if I seek for love of thee?'            
4. How lovely are thy dwellings fair".
5. "Oyez! has any found a Lad?" by Thomas Tomkins
6. Wachet auf! Ruft uns ein Stimme, Cantata BWV 140.
7. Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, Cantata BWV 6.
8. Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, Cantata BWV 106.
9. sic - recte 'hart'.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1752/2/1/1, ff. 7-12
General notes: 

 According to a note in the hand of the recipient this letter was written in Spring 1929, but it clearly closely follows VWL666 which appears to have been written just before the Three Choirs Festival. In any case this was the time of the year that the music committee met to choose the music for the following Leith Hill Musical Festival since rehearsals for all choirs began in September.

Original database number: