Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust

Letter No.: 
21 December 1920

Opinion, as member of assessment panel for the Trust’s ‘Scheme for the publication of musical compositions’, on ‘Among the Northumbrian Hills’: free variations for Pianoforte Quintet by W. Gillies Whittaker.1

I cannot make up my mind whether this is real modern thought or only imitation.  Some of it I like - the inflouence of Holst is apparent.
Too much mere repetition of 2 bar phrases.
Theme                           not much
Fantastic garden            fair
Early morning                not much
Children at play             silly
Reflections                    yes
Gloom                          dull
Swallows                      I like this
Midsummer                 good
Haymaking                  beastly
Midwinter                    good
Fireside                       silly

B+ on the whole

1.  The other panellists were Henry Hadow and Dan Godfrey.  Hadow thought the work genuine and spontaneous though hurried with the composer not being sufficiently self-critical and awarded it B+; Godfrey oposed an award though felt the composer should be encouraged.  In the event the work was published by the scheme in 1922.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
GD 281/41/85
General notes: 

Date is that of receipt by the Trust.

Original database number: