Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to F.W. Evans

Letter No.: 
March 9th [1905]

10, Barton Street,

Dear Sir

I am in receipt of your letter of this morning. I am willing to write the music for the masque and will accept a fee of £5-0-0 - not indeed as a payment, for I think you realize that this in no way represents the work to be done - but to repay me for any expense that I may be put to in preparing the music. The copying of the parts etc to be undertaken by you.
Only I must insist that the music must be as adequately performed as the short time you have allowed for preparation admits of.
If I am to prepare the music I must be responsible for it all - therefore I shall undertake the dances as well as the rest.
I do not yet understand whether the orchestra is to be amateur or professional & what instruments I am to expect. Also I must know how many voices there are to be in the chorus - also how good they are. All this makes a great difference to the kind of music I shall write. Also what kind of dances are going to be danced - Are they to be old dances - such as Pavanes or Galliards or will they be invented in accordance with my music? You do not tell me how much has been already prepared. Perhaps it will save trouble if I enclose a list of questions with spaces for your answers. May I impress upon you that time is very short & that I want to get to work at once.
I am
Yours faithfully

R. Vaughan Williams


List of Questions

(1) Is the work to be performed on a stage or out of doors.
(2) What preparations have already been made.
(3) What is the size and capability of the chorus? Mention some work they have lately been performing.
(4) Is the orchestra to be amateur or professional
(5) Of what instruments does it consist?
(6) Are the three soloists soprano, mezzo-soprano or contralto?
(7) Has any particular dance been chosen for the 'Antimasque of the Boeotians' and of the 'Thebans'
(8) Is the 'main dance' to be a single short dance or a whole ballet consisting of several dances?
(9) Who is directly responsible for the production of the masque? Can I be put in communication with him?

General notes: 

See VWL191 and VWL3986.

Cobbe 35
Original database number: