Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Percy Scholes

Letter No.: 

13 Cheyne Walk
Chelsea, S.W.3

My dear Scholes
I'm sorry - but why should you inflict Mrs Coates' bosh on an unoffending public? 
Her screed was entirely unauthorized - & did a lot of harm in U.S.A.1
Up to the present I've managed to keep it out of England -I don't mind Finale so much2 - but would rather not have it - it spoils your otherwise excellent article - but really Mrs Coates is rather too much for me.
By the way, the “interpolation” you mention (p.8?) is really the beginning of the recapitulation - it almost exactly reproduces the section of the 1st part beginning

(I cannot verify as I have no copy here) and so goes right on to the 2nd subject.3


R. Vaughan Williams

1. This is a reply to VWL569. VW had heard about it already from Ray Henderson; see VWL510. Madelon Coates, wife of the conductor Albert Coates, had written some notes on A London Symphony based on pictures which VW had told her and her husband (apparently rather reluctantly) that he had had in mind while composing the work. When VW saw what she had written he was unhappy but she claimed he had allowed her to publish the notes in America. He was certainly anxious that they should have no circulation in England. Scholes had asked Mrs Coates for permission to use her notes in his Second Book of the Gramophone Record; this she gave him but warned him that she expected VW would be unhappy about it. Scholes told her that he would send VW his piece in proof but would be careful not to annoy him.
2. Presumably Coates' note on the last movement.
3. The passage quoted by VW occurs at letter G in the first movement.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Cobbe 147
Original database number: