Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Rutland Boughton

Letter No.: 
June 21st 1953.

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Rutland,

It was a great pleasure to hear The Immortal Hour again;1  there are some lovely things in it, and you are not afraid of writing a tune.  On the whole I like the first Act better than the decond2  except for the druid’s song; and as to the luring song, it is like the Marseillaise or the National Anthem, “hors de combat”.
I first heard it with you playing magnificently on the pianoforte years and years ago at Glastonbury when you gathered together a noble company of young enthusiasts.  I so well remember that we took ourselves too seriously to be frightened of relaxing in the evening when Clive Carey and Johnstone Douglas used to improvise duets on two pianofortes which were slightly out of tune with each other and Fellowes3 was there with his new found madrigals, and Bernard Shaw propounding truisms and from Cherubini, immagining4 that he had discovered them himself; and Katie and Bee Larpent set up a restaurant which they called “Cramalot” which rather shocked the more pure minded of your audience.
Well, we were all young then, but I believe you remain young still.


1. It had been performed at Sadlers Wells. See VWL2684.
2. sic.
3. Edmund Horace Fellowes.
4. sic

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 52366, f. 121

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/20, ff. 177-178
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Cobbe 613; R.V.W.: a biography of Ralph Vaughan Williams, p.335-336
Original database number: