Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP)

Letter No.: 
May 16th 1956.

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

Dear Frank,

Thank you for your letter. As regards the two points:
1. My experience of conductors is that they always make commas into pauses. I think even John made it too long, and really all I want is a comma there: but I expect most of them will make it into a pause, so we will leave it as it is.1
2. I do not see any reason to alter the sentence about the xylophone: it is heard in this episode, though some of it is cut out.2 
There is one more alteration that I am sorry to say that I have to make: at page 40, figure 17, the trumpets and horns obscure the tune, also the side drum. I want pp added on the second beat of the bar at 17, crescendo two bars later. f on the second beat of the 5th bar - see enclosed slip. I am also writing to Roy about this. Perhaps he could get in touch with the Hallé librarian and get this addition put into the parts?


1. Frank had written about two points which needed settling in connection with the engraving of the score of the Eighth Symphony (Catalogue of Works 1955/3). The first was about the comma at the double bar-line 7 bars before the end of the work - he said that several conductors felt this to be insufficient and proposed replacing it with a pause mark.
2. Frank’s second point was to do with the programme note where the second episode of the last movement was described as being ‘characterised by the voice of the xylophone’. Since two of the three passages had been cut out he suggested that this was no longer fully correct.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 2008X
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Cobbe 679
Original database number: