Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Herbert Ellingford

Letter No.: 
VWL881
December 9 [1930]

The White Gates,
Westcott Road,
Dorking.

Dear Mr Ellingford

Many thanks for your interesting letter and the programmes.
I hope very much to have the pleasure of reading your article when it comes out.
Your quotation rather alarms me.  I did not know I had been guilty of all that, and feel rather like the gentleman who was terrified to discover that he had been speaking prose all his life without knowing it!1
Yours sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams


1. Ellingford, organist of St George’s Hall, Liverpool, had written to say that he had been playing VW’s Prelude and Fugue in C minor [Catalogue of Works 1930/4] to children in St George’s Hall and had written an article around it entitled ‘Bach and Vaughan Williams’ which he hoped would appear in The Organ in 1931. The article was published in vol.11, nos. 41-42, July and October issues. The quotation to which VW refers ends: ‘the pronounced effect of the simultaneous use of harmonic opposites which are seen in the foregoing excerpts from Bach are justified by the sound they produce’. VW’s allusion is to M Jourdain’s statement in Act 2 Sc 4 of Molière’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/7, f.134
General notes: 

In the hand of AVW signed by VW.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 187
Original database number: 
301209