Letter from Ernest Irving to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
March 13th., 1952

Ernest Irving
4, The Lawn,
Ealing Green, W.5.

Dear R.V.W.

I don’t think you need be afraid of the Intermezzo. The opening of the Symphony is grim and heroic; the end of it sad and tragic; but neither Scott nor the Antarctic were unchangingly thus and the general atmosphere of the work is, I think, sombre enough; the Intermezzo is no “Dorabella” anyway.1
I can’t remember ever composing the four bars you ascribe to me. I had regretfully to cut out some of your music to fit the picture and here and there was able to suggest some little orchestral or structural alteration to meet the exigencies of the recording, but I should not dream of adding anything to your composition; it would be an impertinence. In any case the four bars given to the clarinet are only a varied form of the solo voice part.
When would you like me to return the score?
Yours ever


1. A reference to Elgar’s variation depicting Dorabella ------ in the ‘Enigma Variations’.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/19, f. 147
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Original database number: