Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to the Bach Choir

Letter No.: 
VWL608
[About 12th June 1926]

MESSAGE FROM THE MUSICAL DIRECTOR.

As I shall not have an opportunity of meeting many of the members of the Bach Choir before next season, I want to tell them of my admiration of the manner in which they carried out our arduous four day festival.1
There was present throughout that “inner fire”, (to quote Dr. Straube2) that enthusiasm and devotion which are of more value than any amount of technique.
Particularly I wish to thank the Choir for their fine performance of my “Sancta Civitas” and I want to tell members that I am aware that this performance was the result of much more than our weekly practices.3
The performance of the Mass was to my mind a worthy climax to a week of splendid singing.4
R. VAUGHAN WILLIAMS,

Musical Director.


1. The Festival was to celebrate the Bach Choir’s Fiftieth Jubilee. See R.V.W.: a biography, p.164.
2. Kantor of St Thomas’ Church, Leipzig, who had given the first performance in Germany of VW’s Mass in G minor. See VWL537. He was present for the Festival.
3. The Bach Choir had given the first London performance of Sancta Civitas on 9th June.
4. A performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1116, f.137

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/7, f.16
General notes: 

Typescript

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 156; R.V.W.: a biography of Ralph Vaughan Williams, p.164.
Original database number: 
260612