Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Malcolm Sargent

Letter No.: 
Oct 15 [after 1943]


Dear Malcolm
Thankyou very much for your letter and for what I am sure was a fine performance of my symph.1
I should very much like to meet you soon and go through the score and get your suggestions. Perhaps your secretary would give me some of your free times (if any!) & I wd choose one of them when I was otherwise coming to London to make an appointment.
As regards the 4 horns - it would of course be a confession of weakness & would mean that I do not understand orchestration (which is probably true) - I do not want them on the first 2 movements - so "pride ruled my will" & I determined to do without them altogether. The only place I felt the want of them were end of the slow movement and the climax just before the 3 Trombone chord in the Passacaglia - & I hoped I had successfully faked those - I do not like the idea of 'ad lib' horns - either we want 2 horns or 4.

1. Symphony no. 5


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1784/1/5, ff. 194-195