Search the letters

The Vaughan Williams Foundation has made over 5000 items freely available: chiefly letters from Ralph Vaughan Williams, but including some responses which shed light on the subject matter, and also a number of letters from Adeline and Ursula Vaughan Williams. These provide further information and often include messages or observations from Ralph, and there are also letters from Adeline and Ursula written on behalf of the couple. The text of letters written by RVW and UVW remain the copyright of the Foundation.

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The letters are in tabular form and can be sorted by column, or filtered by any keyword including name, musical title, year or subject (singly or in combination). Partial matches will also be found, e.g. searching “sky” will also find “Stravinsky”. To search for a phrase use inverted commas, e.g. “New York”.

To search by letter number, include the prefix VWL, e.g. VWL123.

Filter letters

Letter No. Title Date Date on Letter
VWL916 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320610 Friday [10th June 1932]
VWL914 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19310518 Monday [18th May 1931]
VWL1922 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19440704 July 4 [1944]
VWL2940 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19490106 January 6 [1949]
VWL1143 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19370225 Feb 25 [1937]
VWL1142 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19370221 Sunday [21st February 1937]
VWL1131 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 193310-- [about October 1933]
VWL615 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19270401 [1st April 1927]
VWL859 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19300702 July 2 [1930]
VWL1077 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19330811 Friday night [?11th August 1933 ]
VWL2079 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19500901 September 1 [1950?]
VWL1047 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19330223 Feb 23 [1933]
VWL2064 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 195102-- Monday [February 1951]
VWL1038 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 193303-- [March 1933]
VWL1025 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19321202 Dec 2 [1932]
VWL769 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19350822 Aug 22 [1935]
VWL1013 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320922 [22 September 1932]
VWL1011 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320920 [20th September 1932]
VWL1010 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320917 Saturday [17th September 1932]
VWL1007 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320824 Wednesday [24th August 1932]
VWL1004 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320627 Monday [27th June 1932]
VWL747 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 1929---- Friday [after 1929]
VWL1002 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320531 Tuesday [31st May 1932]
VWL1001 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320528 Saturday [28th May 1932]
VWL998 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320316 Wednesday aftn [16th March 1932]
VWL1509 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19390109 Monday [9th January 1939]
VWL997 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19320309 Wednesday [9th March 1932]
VWL987 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19311212 Saturday [31st December 1931]
VWL2000 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19500603 June 3 [1950]
VWL2895 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Genia Hornstein 1942---- Friday [?1942 or later]

You have never lost your invention but it has not developed enough.  Your best – your most original and beautiful style or ‘atmosphere’ is an indescribable sort of feeling as if one was listening to very lovely lyrical poetry.

GUSTAV HOLST letter to RVW 1903

He was one of the most 'complete' men I have ever known. He loved life, he loved work and his interest in all music was unquenchable and insatiable.

SIR JOHN BARBIROLLI, conductor

I was thunderstruck by the symphony last night - and hadn't expected to be. Jagged, pulsating and angry, from that very first clanging dissonance - how can it have come from the same source as the Tallis Fantasia?

AUDIENCE MEMBER, Newbury Festival