Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Isidore Schwiller

Letter No.: 
19th October 1949

The White Gates,

Dear Isidore

I am so glad to hear through Mrs. Schwiller that you are back again and practising your art.
Could you undertake a small engagement of a private nature for me on November 20th? I am trying out two new works of my own respectively for pianoforte solo, reciter, chorus and orchestra. The orchestra will be represented by a string quartet and pianoforte and the chorus by eight of the Tudor Singers. Steuart Wilson will be the Reciter & Mullinar Piano.1
Could you bring down a quartet? It would be very nice if you could. I leave the choice entirely to you but it would be nice to have some of our Dorking friends, and at all events I know you would not bring anyone who would not be welcome in the house.
Do you think a fee of £5.5/- 2 for each player would be adequate? If not, would you tell me? the date is Sunday November 20th and the time 3.30. There will be a short full rehearsal immediately before the performance which takes place in this house, and I think it will be wise to run through the string parts separately beforehand either in the morning or at some other time and place you think best. The works are quite short and the band parts will be quite simple. I propose to do each work twice.
The performance is chiefly for my Wife and myself but I shall be asking a few friends from Dorking as well.
With kind regards,

R. Vaughan Williams

Isidore Schwiller, Esq.
19, Canfield Gardens, N.W.6.

1.  An Oxford Elegy for speaker, small mixed chorus and small orchestra (Catalogue of Works 1949/2), and Fantasia (quasi variazioni) on the `Old 104th' Psalm Tune for pianoforte solo, accompanied by mixed chorus and orchestra (Catalogue of Works 1949/3).
2.  i.e. Five guineas.

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/18, f. 163
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Original database number: