from Vaughan Williams, Ralph, 1872-1958 to Howells, Herbert, 1892-1983

Letter No. VWL2449

Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Herbert Howells

Letter No.: VWL2449

The White Gates,
Dorking, Surrey.

9th July, 1952.

Dear Herbert

I return your list.1 Of course I would not dream of cutting out any names, even if personally I do not want them.
By way of additions, would you consider Mr. and Mrs. Finzi, and I should also be very glad if invitations could be sent to Alan Bush as representing the W.M.A. and Rutland Boughton – what he represents I do not quite know, but I have lately had rows with each of them, so if it could be stated that they were invited at my special request I should be very grateful.2
I am glad you are having no music.  I wish you would have a conjuror – that is my favourite form of entertainment.  When you say “no music”, do you not think that we ought to start dinner with the “Non Nobis”?  Surely a company of musicians ought to be able to sing it.  Would it be a good plan for me to issue you with a special number of cards which Novello issue with the “Non Nobis” printed on them.  If it was not too many I should be delighted to do so.  Otherwise I think a special choir ought to be arranged to sing it.  


    (R. Vaughan Williams).
Dr. Herbert Howells,
3, Beverley Close,
Barnes, S.W.13.

1. Guests to be invited to the dinner given by the Incorporated Society of Musicians in honour of VW’s 80th birthday on Monday 6th October.
2. For the row with Rutland Boughton, which was about politics, see VWL2441, VWL2445, VWL2448. He was invited – see VWL2446. Alan Bush was President of the Workers’ Musical Association from 1941 until his death in 1995.
3. “Non nobis Domine”, variously attributed to William Byrd and others, had been published on a card (together with a Grace by E.A. Price) by Novello in 1904.