Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ferdinand Rauter

Letter No.: 
[29. Sept 42]

The White Gates,

Dear Dr Rauter

I thank you for your far-seeing and eloquent letter.1
I must explain that I thought it fair that you should know what my attitude was before I accepted the honour you do me - so that you might withdraw, if you wanted to, while there was still time.
I need hardly say that if there is any danger of the tradition which produced Haydn, Mozart & Schubert dissappearing2 we must make every effort to preserve it.
So if my “patronage” can be of any use to you please command me.
Yours sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams

1. In response to Rauter's letter to VW, see VWL1692, inviting him to become Patron of the Anglo-Austrian Music Society. Ruter had replied that there was indeed some truth in the idea that Austrians tended to impose their culture on other countries. This was because of their failure to appreciate that other traditions had different cultural roots from their own and because of the lack of opportunities in Austria to hear English music. The proposed Anglo-Austrian Society was an attempt to correct the balance and to organise and unite exiled Austrian musicians in the face of the present threat to old Austrian traditions at home. Inviting VW to be Patron was an expression of gratitude for his role in obtaining the release of internees. See Cobbe, 'Vaughan Williams, Germany and the German Tradition', pp. 94-98 in Alain Frogley (ed.), Vaughan Williams Studies (Cambridge, 1996), where Rauter's letter is printed in full.
2. sic


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Music & Migration Collections
General notes: 

Date noted by recipient.

Cobbe 394
Original database number: