Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Herbert Thompson

Letter No.: 
July 10th [1914]

10 Madingly Road
(Temporary )

Dear Thompson

Your request is rather a hard one as the supposed Worcester work is really not begun yet (I always told Atkins I should probably not be able to do anything - but if I did finish any thing in time he could have it - I am having a quiet 4t night here thinking it over - I shall know at the end of that time whether I can do anything or not)
However I can tell you this much that if it does materialize it will take the form of “Four Hymns” for Tenor voice accompanied by string orchestra & viola obligato - the words will be some or all of the enclosed.1
Yrs very truly

R. Vaughan Williams

1. Catalogue of Works 1914/2. According to the Catalogue of Works they were in proof by July 1914, but Steuart Wilson’s set in the British Library is dated 1915, which seems more likely in the light of this letter. In the event the work was not performed because of the outbreak of war. With his letter to Thompson, VW enclosed the words of the poems (MS. 361/329/2-5) which were in fact set, though nos. 2 and 3 are reversed in order. Apparently VW had been asked by Ivor Atkins to compose a piece for the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester in 1914; in the event the Festival was cancelled due to the outbreak of the war.



Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS. 361/329/1

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/4, ff.50-54
General notes: 

The VWs had taken the house of E.J. Dent, from where this letter was written.

Original database number: