Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to William McKie

Letter No.: 
17th December, 1952.

The White Gates,

Dear McKie1

I am glad you liked the little Anthem.2  I have an informal agreement with the O.U.P. that I offer everything first to them, so will you get into touch with them for making the necessary arrangements?3
I hope you will persuade the Archbishop4 to have two verses of the hymn sung by a choir only.  For the last verse I should very much like to use the version of a tune in my “Hundredth Psalm”, but this involves Fanfares between the lines and I am afraid would upset the congregation.5  Will you let me know what you think?  I will send you a copy if I can find one.

R Vaughan Williams

Dr. William McKie,
33, Greycoat Gardens,
London,  S.W.1.

1. Organist of Westminster Abbey 1941-1963.
2. O taste and see (Catalogue of Works 1952/3) (a setting of Psalm 34 v.8) written for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953.
3. The anthem was first published in the service book for the coronation, which was published by Novello's, so it was necessary for them to arrange copyright clearance with Oxford University Press.
4. Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was to preside at the Coronation.
5. VW had written The hundredth psalm in 1929 for the Leith Hill Festival Chorus and orchestra (Catalogue of Works 1929/2) and did indeed make use of the music in his arrangement of the hymn ‘All people that on earth do dwell’, The Old Hundredth psalm tune, for use at the Coronation (Catalogue of Works 1953/2).

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/20, f. 203

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
WAM KMC/02/05A/005
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Cobbe 595
Original database number: