Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood

Letter No.: 
[5th October 1906]

13 Cheyne Walk

My dear Randolph

It is delightful to get a letter from you - especially one asking me to do anything for you - I’ve  looked through “Hilf mir Schwester”1  I see no reason why the whole song shd not be adapted for the organ - but the bit at the end after the voice stops (is that what you mean by ‘wedding march”?) is only about 3½ bars - rather too short by its self.2
I should love to go and beard that brute at St Margaret’s with you.  I advise you to make out a complete programme of all the music you’d like played and tell him to play that and nothing else - otherwise he’ll play muck and make everybody sick - think of all your favourite music and I’ll select from it what will go on the organ - most pianoforte music of the slower kind and songs all make nice organ pieces.3
I’m just back from one day at the Birmingham festival - I started at 6.30 a.m. got in two concerts and got back at 5.30 a.m. - I just saw Mrs Stephens for one moment - she was so nice & came across & spoke to me - I have it on my conscience that I said that nobody sang well at the “Kingdom” except Miss Foster - I ought also to have included Miss Nicholls who sang beautifully also. Do tell her if you see her.4


P.S.  I’ve just heard that I’m going to see Iris5 at last!  A.6 went to call on her yesterday and asked her home to tea here tomorrow and we hear now that she can come - that will be splendid.

1. ‘Hilf mir ihr Schwester’, no.5 of Schumann’s song cycle about love and marriage, Frauenliebe und -leben, op.42.
2. Wedgwood’s wedding was to take place on 24th October 1906.
3. The organist at St Margaret’s Westminster at this date was Reginald Goss-Custard.
4. Winifred Stephens was the sister of Agnes Nicholls, and married to Jeffrey Stephens of the Gramophone Co.; Muriel Foster and Agnes Nicholls sang in the first performance of Elgar's The Kingdom at the Birmingham Festival on 3 October 1906, which VW had attended. The visit is not mentioned in R.V.W.: a biography.
5.Ralph Wedgwood’s fiancée, Iris Pawson.
6. Adeline VW.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/3, ff.7-9
General notes: 

Date from postmark.

Cobbe 43
Original database number: