from Vaughan Williams, Ralph, 1872-1958 to Peterkin, Norman, 1886-1982

Letter No. VWL1949

Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Norman Peterkin

Letter No.: VWL1949

The White Gates

Dec 3 [1944]

Dear Peterkin

Could you kindly send me my original score of my Symphony in D which I think you have? I have to conduct at Guildford on Saturday and that is the score I prefer to use.1
I have heard from Goossens who says the Concerto was a great success – but there are one or two passages that are difficult even for him – but he does not suggest alternatives nor has he sent either you or me the oboe part.2
These alternatives must be put into the oboe part before a copy is made – but there is no reason why the string parts should not be duplicated. Goossens tells me that he wanted to play the work several times in Wales but the parts were not available. I daresay there is some good explanation of th[is].3
I feel that you as “Controller” of the work ought to come to a definite understanding with Goossens as to how many  performances he is to be allowed before the work is released for other players.
Yours sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams 

1. This score is now MS 4231 in the Royal College of Music.
2. VW’s Concerto in A minor for oboe and strings, Catalogue of Works 1944/1, had received its first performance played by Leon Goossens in Liverpool on 30th September.
3. A note dated 4th December 1944 in the OUP file explains that the orchestral material had been with Thomas Armstrong in Oxford on 24th November when Boyd Neel’s secretary had asked for it (for a performance in Wales the following week) and had been told it was not available. Armstrong was preparing a performance by Goossens to be given in Oxford on 8th March 1945.