Letter from Ursula Vaughan Williams to Michael and Eslyn Kennedy

Letter No.: 
Jan 19th [1956]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park,
London, N.W.1.

My dear Michael & Eslyn,

What a dreary beginning this year has had – I do hope you are both getting better.  We started with hideous (loud) coughs at Christmas, but are more or less over them now.  But our staff have been less lucky. Irmgard1 has been in hospital for a month, & Mrs B has had to go home to look after her grandson as her daughter has a gastric ulcer!  So old Fred does the boiler & washes up, I cook, & we have relays of Molly & Betsies who clean when they can come!  However all is well, & we continue our opera going – a very good Don. at Sadlers Wells last week, Cosi the week before, & Rigoletto tomorrow, Magic Flute next week.  Mat. & John rehearsal2 in full swing, & yesterday a recording of film music for a documentary  which went very well.3
So sorry about John South – I think J. Hopkins wd be a good idea.4
I will tell you about No 6. one day.  I do know the answer.5 We shall be in Manchester on the 7th, John is running through the new Symph.6 Full at 6 pm.  In bits all day – perhaps you can come?
Much love from us both

1. The VW’s German maid.
2. Bach's St Matthew Passion and St John Passion.
3. i.e. Music for the British Transport Commission Film “The England of Elizabeth” (Catalogue of Works 1955/4).
4. Barbirolli had decided not to give South’s Symphony (see VWL3227) and Michael Kennedy had suggested he should send it to John Hopkins, chief conductor of the BBC Northern Orchestra.
5. Michael Kennedy had asked VW about the significance behind the last movement of Symphony No. 6 (Catalogue of Works 1947/3). VW’s response can be found in VWL3259.
6. i.e. Symphony No. 8 (Catalogue of Works 1955/3).


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 159, ff.102-103
General notes: 

Year taken from postmark.

Original database number: