Letter from Gerald Finzi to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
[14th October 1952]

Even L van B wrote the Choral Fantasia, so I don't feel too abashed at taking you at your word & telling you how the Sons of Light struck me. I was a bit doubtful about it on paper but knowing how deceptive paper can be it wd have been stupid to have formed any opinion before hearing it.
Of course the whole thing runs very freely & easily. With the technique you've built up it cdn't fail to. But it's not memorable in any way. The opening of the song of the Zodiac & the last page (from 70) of the messengers of speech, remain in the mind, but very little else. I wonder whether it was written too easily? It wd be absurd to say the music wasn't 'integrated' because in the very nature of things you can't write music that is otherwise, but the stuff in it just seems undigested & I don't think it really comes off. Odd; because Ursula's words seemed very good for their purpose but perhaps you couldnt really get excited about the Zodiac!! ...
By the way can't you stop people talking about the Sym No 7?  You call it Sinfonia Antartica because, obviously, its in a category of its own & surely its as great a mistake to call it a sym as to call Job one.

General notes: 

Transcribed in Joy Finzi's Journal. For VW's reply see VWL2491.

Original database number: