Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to E.J. Dent

Letter No.: 
Dec 11 [c1945?]

The White Gates

Dear Dent

Very confidential

I have had a visit from Professor Santos1 & his wife - she sings Spanish folksongs delightfully - very beautiful tunes to which he had added quite competent but not very distinguished accompaniments. The only other work he showed me was an early pfte sonata - just student work - quite well done but with absolutely no character - just a hotch potch of early Chopin & Liszt. He has composed nothing recently as far as I can make out - & I told him that if he wants help with his composition he must get to work and write something first (I suggested a fantasia on some of those Portuguese folksongs).
Then I wd suggest his taking his work for criticism to several people - especially you & after you Arthur Bliss - & I said that whenever he liked to show me a work I should be pleased to discuss it - I suggested strict cpt2 with R.O.M.3 - but he said he wanted to do “modern” cpt whatever that may mean.
I hope you will be able to see him and advise him. But (more confidential than ever!) I have grave doubts as to whether he is a composer.

R. Vaughan Williams

1. Possiby Joly Braga-Santos.
2. i.e. counterpoint
3. R.O. Morris (brother-in-law of AVW) at the Royal College of Music.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Dent Archive (undated)
General notes: 

Hypothetical date based on the wartime unheaded paper.

Cobbe 453
Original database number: