Letter from Michael and Eslyn Kennedy to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
Dec.31, 1957.

3, Moorwood Drive
The Avenue
Sale, Cheshire.

My dear Uncle Ralph,

At the year’s midnight we send you and your wonderful Ursula love, the best love of which we are capable, and our strongest hopes for 1958, the year of the “Ninth”, so automatically a year to be marked from the start.  May it bring you both health, happiness and a continuation of your bountiful genius.  As I write I have the Oboe Concerto playing, and my heart goes out to you, as it has done all my life, in gratitude for the solace of spirit, strength of heart and acuteness of mind which you have brought to me, and which will last me all my days.  This bond of music, inviolable by materialistic worldly things, is so precious, but more precious still is the gift of your friendship to us both.  We dearly love you, and our lives are enriched by you.
I’m glad you are pleased by the Graves & I thought it would be useful also to have the metaphysical gentlemen all under one cover.  As far as I recall from a brief glance at the new Epilogue to Goodbye to All That he mentions your Majorcan singing (p.305?) but not the coffee & the cat!
Over Christmas I forgot to write about hearing Malcolm’s Sibelius memorial concert in early December - splendidly played (he is, by the way, conducting Hymn of Jesus here next week).  I did enjoy a really fine playing of Finlandia - I know all the highbrows sneer at it but why?  I think that middle tune is stirring and splendid, & not a bit “banal”.  To-day banal = popular, & that is all wrong because the tune itself doesn’t alter because lots of people know & like it.  The third Symphony I like very much - that winding tune in the first mvt. is a grand one, but I am always a bit bored by “En Saga”.  It stops perfectly; & then he goes on unnecessarily for another five minutes & spoils it all.  Or so I think.
Our best love, dear Ralph & blessings & honour & devotion,
Michael & Eslyn

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/23, f.72
Original database number: