Letter from Percy Dearmer to Humphrey Milford

Letter No.: 
22nd October 1934

4 Little Cloister
Westminster Abbey, S.W.1

Dear Milford

Songs of Praise

Some time ago it was discovered that the musical arrangement of No. 262 would not do - in fact, Bullock said they could not sing it again in the Abbey. Vaughan Williams made no sign about it when I told him; but in his geniusy way he has now at last been inspired to compose a new tune.
I am sorry to add a belated proof correction, but I think it could easily be got into the two pages, and the two tunes now in might perhaps be squeezed in as an alternative.
To meet him half way I have altered three lines, and I think it is important to get this done before it is too late.  I don't think the hymn has been much used yet, but I think it will come to be recognised as important in the future.
Anyhow, it just gives us a new copyright tune by Vaughan Williams.  And one of his very best.  Bullock has just been playing it, & we think it glorious.1
Yours sincerely,

P. Dearmer

P.S.  I had been going to send the enclosed to Burghes a week or two ago, from the Bishop of Southwark.2

1. VW’s new tune is Little cloister, Catalogue of Works 1934/6. However either Oxford University Press were unwilling or it was not technically feasible to replace the existing tunes for no.262 in reprints of Songs of Praise, Catalogue of Works 1931/2, and the tune was apparently published separately in 1935. See Catalogue of Works p.155.
2. 'The enclosed' is not identified.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 201
Original database number: