Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP)

Letter No.: 
September 30th 1953.

10, Hanover Terrace, N.W.1.

Dear Frank,

I find that two of your daily letters remain unanswered,
(1) The other side to the P. P. songs record1 - I have not withdrawn the Housman songs with voice and violin, but they require re-furbishing before I can release them. What about Four Hymns for tenor solo, and viola and with orchestra or pianoforte?2  These, as I daresay you know, are Boosey & Hawkes, would that matter?
(2) Martin and I are working away at the Carols. I have done most of my quota. The O.B.C.3  fell down by being too broad minded. By a sort of musical Gresham’s law, the bad drives out the good, the result is that people neglect our own beautiful carols in favour of horrible little things about little drums and coats of fur. Also, to my mind, a carol is a traditional thing, not something composed by Martin Shaw or me, therefore I propose that the new book shall be called “Twenty-five (?) English Traditional Carols, arranged for women’s voices by M. S. & R. V. W.” I enclose a provisional list of what we want to do.4


1. Pilgrim's Progress
2. sic. Catalogue of Works 1914/2.
3. The Oxford Book of Carols (Catalogue of Works 1928/2).
4. English Traditional Carols, ed. by VW and Martin Shaw was published in 1954, containing 21 carols from the Oxford Book of Carols arranged for women’s voices in 2,3, and 4 parts. See Catalogue of Works p.119

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 908A
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Original database number: