Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Adrian Boult

Letter No.: 
VWL439
Feb 20th [1918]

R.A. Mess,
St. Lucia Barracks,
Bordon, Hants.

Dear Boult

In all the hurry of Monday I never had an opportunity of thanking you
(1) for doing my symph
(2) for giving such a fine performance - it really was splendid [-] you had got the score right into you & through you into your orch:1
May I say how much I admired your conducting - it is real conducting - you get just what you want & know what you want - & your players trust you because they know it also -  I heard many expressions of admiration from both audience and performers (von Holst & A.Hobday2 among others) - of course you are an experienced conductor by now & your power is well known to many - but to me who have  been out of music for 3 years it was new - good luck to you - I look for great things in the future when such musical ability & such public spirit go hand in hand
Yrs sincerely

R Vaughan Williams


1. Boult had given a performance of A London Symphony in February after which VW made some revisions which were incorporated in a performance again by Boult on 18 March 1918 in the Queen’s Hall, at which time VW was in France. See Works of Vaughan Williams, p.144.
2. Alfred Hobday, viola player who gave the first performance of the Four Hymns, Catalogue of Works 1914/2, in 1920.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 60499, f. 194

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS.Mus.1714/1/5, f.112-113
Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 110; Moore, Music and Friends, pp.27-28
Original database number: 
180220