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Tovey, Sir Donald Francis (1875-1940) knight, music scholar and composer
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Notebook with extended prose narrative and loose poems, most from "The Bride of Dionysus"

Notes on the Wars of the Roses, including a family tree [from Trevelyan's school days?].
Opening [?] of prose narrative set in the British Museum Reading Room.
Extensive extract from prose narrative [Trevelyan's never completed novel?], describing the view from Meliance's window, his waking from a dream (with brief verse), seeing Helen/Orgeluse picking flowers and going downstairs intending to speak to her. Written on recto only, with additions and corrections on facing pages.

Loose inserts: 1 bifolium with "Modern Greek ballad", "Dirge", "From Theognis", "Dirge"; 1 sheet, "Before, I tire of loving thee, my love..."; 1 bifolium with translation of Catullus 81, "A lament", "Song", "Italian folk songs"; 1 bifolium, "The Mountain-brook", "Song", "The Thrush's Song"; 1 sheet, "There was a little monkey from monkey-land"; 1 foolscap bifolium with translation of Catullus 63 ("Attis"); 1 foolscap sheet, "Wishes", "Greek folk-song", "Satyr's Song (from Ariadne [i.e. "The Bride of Dionysus"])"; endpaper and back cover of a French Garnier Classics book, with verse in pencil on endpaper, "Sidelong/Downward a little leaning/bending thy dear head...".

Several blank pages in notebook, then more inserts: bifolium headed letter paper from The Green Farm, Timworth, Bury St. Edmunds [country home of Desmond and Molly MacCarthy] with draft verse in pencil; 1 sheet, ["Italian Folk Songs"]; 1 large sheet, "The Mulberry Tree Speaks"; 1 sheet, "What wert thou, happy dream?" [from Meliance narrative, see above]; 1 foolscap sheet, "Now now needs must I sing".

Several further blank pages, then more inserts: 1 sheet, "My love among all lovely things..", with musical notation on the back [since the poem is published in "The Bride of Dionysus... and other poems", perhaps the music is by Donald Tovey]; 1 bifolium, "Methought I had been wandering alone..."; 1 sheet, "When the children come at eve...", title, "The Mulberry Tree", added later in pencil; 1 sheet, "To yon thicket hind and hart go rarely.." ["The Thrush's Song"]; 1 sheet, "No now fain would I sing"; "Thou gaunt grey-bearded boatman" ["Charon"]; 1 sheet, "When dreaming of thy beauty by the sea..."; 1 sheet, "I ; thought that Love..."; 1 sheet, "What wert thou, happy dream". Further blank pages.

Letter from Louise MacCarthy to R. C. Trevelyan

8 Cheyne Gardens, Chelsea, S.W. - Is very sorry Desmond has kept Trevelyan waiting so long for an answer; wishes he would let her be his secretary, as she could have done everything with no trouble and real pleasure. Expects Desmond has done some if not all. Longs to read Trevelyan's "Polyphemus". Thinks she can answer about the cheque with a 'yes', Desmond got it, and will have got all the copies together. Mr [Robert] Bridges received his copy, and Trevelyan's 'other friend' another, but Desmond may well have put off sending the rest; when he returns on Saturday she will help him to get everything done. Will have the first copy bought for Mr Sturge Moore if he has not sent it. Desmond's lecture was 'good & clever' and went well. Is angry with the 'bad behaviour' of the Germans in England and does not even want to read Goethe; is glad Trevelyan is reading Tasso. Would very much like Mrs Trevelyan to visit so that she can get to know her; will try to get Donald Tovey. Has been to visit the Lakes; found them very beautiful. Trevelyan must not be too angry with Desmond.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Though Donald [Tovey] is meant to be staying at Northlands all July, so far he has managed only about two nights a week; next week seems clearer; invites the Trevelyans to come and stay the night on July 27th, or another day next week. Donald hopes Bessie will play some sonatas with him. Percy Such and [Charles?] Jacoby [or Georg Jacobi?] are coming that night to play Donald's new arrangement of his Trio for Clarinet and Horn, for Violin and Cello.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Very pleased that Donald [Tovey] can stay with the Trevelyans; describes his habits and diet at length. Asks if they will 'hale him away from Mrs [Ellen] Joachim's' after his time there; hopes he will go to Mrs Freshfield after seeing the Trevelyans, as 'there house is splendidly high up and she will look after him'. Donald has just gone out 'abashed and mournful' to apologise to one of his best friends for forgetting to go to his wedding. Hopes Bösendorfer will send the piano quickly and that Bessie likes it; tells her not to let it get damp or stand in a draught or suffer extreme changes of temperature. Bessie should get Donald to play her the Brahms Violin Concerto frequently, which he does very well and will encourage Bessie to learn it if she has not already. In a postscript, writes out the places Donald will be while she is at Nauheim and says she will ask every one how he is doing or she will have no peace.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Hôtel Prince of Wales, Bad Nauheim, Germany. - The Kurhaus [sanatorium] orchestra is playing "Wien Neerlands Bloed", and recently played 'Wilhelmus von Nassauen" [two national anthems of the Netherlands], but these are 'rare excellencies'. Hopes they will have many much better tunes from Bessie's 'Dutch book' when she visits again. Fears D.F.T. [Donald Tovey] may have made a mistake with his dates, and asks if the Trevelyans can keep him after the 14th, as he has some work to do at the Speyers. Would be very glad if so, as she feels he is 'so safe' with them and with Mrs Joachim. Has heard that Donald will play his concerto again at the Gürzenich in Cologne this winter, and that he is also wanted at Mayence [Mainz]; is very pleased, since 'English Concert Authorities won't have him'. Looks forward to seeing the Trevelyans when she returns to England.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Hôtel Prince of Wales, Bad Nauheim, Germany. - Thanks Bessie for her letter with news of Donald [Tovey]: brings her 'great peace' to know he is with such 'kind friends', and Donald's own postcard to her 'expresses his delight with his surroundings'. He says the clavichord is 'exquisite', and she wishes she was there to hear it, as well as the violin and the new Bösendorfer. Hopes to be home on Thursday and that Donald will come to Northlands then; supposes he will want to attend [Percy] Such's wedding that day.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Chillingham Castle, Belford, Northumberland. - Has come here for a night's stay; arrived in time for a 'beautiful walk' yesterday. Wonders whether the Grandmonts are with Elizabeth and hopes they are having this good weather if so; sends regards, and hopes they like the [new] house. Thinks she must come to London at the end of October; asks if she can come to visit on 31 October or 1 November; discusses travel arrangements. Audrey Trevelyan has been to stay; she played 'some queer music by a man called Debussy which she said was very much thought of in Paris'. Agrees with Elizabeth that music here is not very good, but thought Audrey played well. Everyone envies Elizabeth and Robert having [Donald] Tovey to stay with them.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

22 Willow Road, Hampstead. - Hopes this will reach Bob before he leaves; a 'second American invasion' [related to the offer of a post at the Metropolitan Museum, New York] has taken all his time. He and Helen are grateful for the tickets and hope to get more music; he will definitely introduce himself to Miss [Sophie] Weisse and hopes to get to know [Donald] Tovey who may reform him. No money has come to Fry from Brimley Johnson's 'insatiable maw'; it is good of Bob to bother himself about it. Hopes to have something good for the 'great Agnew show' ['Some examples of Independent Art of today', Agnew's. Feb-Mar 1906]; they are 'all being done by Max [Beerbohm] for "Vanity Fair"; rather dreads it but 'one can't say that its not true of oneself after admiring him on others in print'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to William Everett

c/o A[ubrey] Waterfield Esq., La Fortezza, Aulla, Lunigiana, Italy. - Was very interested in Everett's two essays; what he says about Shakespeare [in "Six Cleopatras", "The Atlantic Monthly" (February 1905) 252-263] seems 'very just', and if he knew the other Cleopatras would probably agree with Everett's thoughts on them too. Ashamed to say he has never read the Dryden ["All for Love or, the World Well Lost"] though he has long meant to; the version by Delphine Gay [de Girardin] also sounds interesting. Finds it harder to agree totally with Everett's paper on Catullus and Horace ["Catullus vs Horace", "Harvard Studies in Classical Philology" 12 (1901): 7-17]; glad to hear Horace praised, as he is 'often now unjustly deprecated', but obviously thinks more of Catullus than Everett does. Though he admits the faults Everett finds, nothing in Horace appeals to him 'personally in the way that the Attys and the first Epithalium [sic: of Catullus] do'. Responds to a few of Everett's criticisms in detail, and says he would 'be prepared to defend Catullus as one of the very greatest poets in the world'. Everett's 'comparison of [Sophocles'] "Ajax" with "Othello" is 'a very just one'; agrees in some respects with what Everett says about the play, though feels the 'repulsive and sordid elements' may be needed to relieve Othello's characters, which is 'essentially noble and beautiful'. Thanks Everett for sending him Mr [William?] Bradford's poems; was much interested in them but disappointed; did not care for the lyrics and, though the sonnets read well, he found htem 'lacking in real poetical quality'; seems to him a difficult genre of poetry to succeed in, though Wordsworth's "Extinction of the Venetian Republic" and sonnet about Toussaint L'Ouverture show what may be done. Is writing a 'lyrical drama on Ariadne and Theseus ["The Bride of Dionysus"]... intended as a libretto for a musical friend [Donald Tovey]". The last act 'will be the most difficult, and should be the best'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Apologies for late response: Donald [Tovey] is 'slaving at the Encyclopædia [Britannica]' and she herself has something wrong with her hands which means she can only write in pencil. Asks Bessie to 'entreat Mr & Mrs Fry' to stay for supper and meet Mr and Mrs Edward Speyer, who will be staying; offers to write to Mrs Fry if Bessie gives her the address. Asks if Donald can come to the Trevelyans in September after all, since he is taking her to Nauheim and may stay in Germany all August; Mrs [Ellen] Joachim wishes to have him for the third week of that month.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Godesberg a/ Rh[ein]. - Sorry that Bessie has not heard from her and so knows nothing about Donald [Tovey]'s plans, but she herself tends to 'collapse so very much once... out of the shafts now-a-days', and Donald has been very unwell, with a high pulse. As he was recovering and planning to be in Ireland, [Joseph] Joachim and 'the exiled Royal family of Hanover, of all things' urgently wished him to spend a week with them, which he greatly enjoyed. They go to Lord Monteagle's in Ireland now; asks whether Donald could come to the Trevelyans at the end of next week. She herself would also love to spend a couple of nights there.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

c/o the Lord Monteagle, Mount Trenchard, Foynes, Co. Limerick. - Hopes Donald [Tovey] will come to the Trevelyans on Saturday; asks Bessie to write to him suggesting a train c/o the Hon. Mrs Wilbraham Cooper, where he must call on his way to the Trevelyans. Her own plans are upset by the need to go to see her 'Geschwister' [siblings] in Scotland, but would like to come on either Wednesday or Thursday.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Train near Carlisle. - Cost her 'a great deal to leave [Donald Tovey] in Ireland yesterday' and cannot rid herself of 'apprehension while he is in this discouraged and suffering condition'; he has been shocked to find that there is a 'dickeFreundshaft' [great friendship] between Mrs [Mary] Berenson and both Kellys; 'that woman' is a real fraud as 'Miss Kelly would hate anything not entirely clean and right when she saw it'. Nothing could be better for Donald than to spend time with Robert Trevelyan and make music with Bessie; unfortunately he is probably not well enough to finish off the Encyclopædia [Britannica], though perhaps he could get it done in the mornings then make music in the afternoons. Asks Bessie to send him on to Mrs Henry Joachim on Saturday the 22nd. Also asks if Bessie can send a telegraph when Donald reaches her. Still in a nervous state and should have stayed longer at Nauheim; had to go to Ireland this time but does not think she will be able to do so again.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Glad to hear good news of Elizabeth, and that she got all her shopping now; if the 'elderly nurse seems suitable' when they meet, she will feel settled and ready for 'the event' [giving birth]. Helen Verrall is here; Mr Hunsfield [?] and his son are arriving today, then Sir George's American friend C[harles] F[rancis] Adams and his wife come on Saturday. Mary and Pauline return tomorrow; hopes the troubles [local illness?] are over. George arrived 'over-worked & looking ill'; is taking a real holiday and seems to be getting better. Sir George is well, and much enjoyed his days shooting yesterday at Catcherside. Sends love to Bob; was 'flattered' at him liking her article. Sure Elizabeth is enjoying Mr [Donald] Tovey's playing. Pantlin is finishing the flannels, which will be sent soon. Hopes the lane [at the new house] will soon be 'all it should be'.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Mr [Donald] Tovey's visit must have given Elizabeth great pleasure. She and Sir George feel 'very quiet without the children', but they have occasional visits from Pauline; she is growing up and can just stand now; Mary [her cousin?] was 'very fond of her' though they 'cannot do anything together'. Glad Elizabeth likes the flannels - it will be 'nice to see Wilhelmina in them [Elizabeth's baby was in fact a boy] - and that she has settled with the nurse. Is sending the leaflets she promised. Has 'done no politics lately', but there is to be a conference at Morpeth on 18 October. Spending a few days with Aunt Annie [Philips] at the end of October. Mary seems very well; thinks they [she and Charles] go to town on 20 October; Janet is at Stocks Cottage for about another fortnight, then they [she and George] also settle in London. Will enjoy seeing so much of Elizabeth and Robert this winter; Miss Martin will come and stay with Sir George when she is away.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Was very sad yesterday to be going further from Elizabeth [since the baby is due]. London was 'horrid... dark & dirty & noisy'. Left Pantlin in low spirits, but she writes that the [nursing] home is nice; believes her operation is today. McKenzie said there was nothing wrong with Sir George's ear, having 'looked into it with an electric light!'. Rolandi does not have [Rolland's] "Jean Christophe", so she will send for it from the London Library. Hopes that Mr [Donald] Tovey's concert was a success. Can come to Surrey via Reading and Gomshall, though Sir George 'very strangely' objects to her returning this week; can start at short notice.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Sorry that Elizabeth is having such a long wait (before giving birth); glad she likes the nurse. Has been busy talking things over with Booa [Mary Prestwich]; went for a long walk with Sir George yesterday afternoon. Brief discussion of blanket patterns and knitting stitches. Glad Alice went to the dance, 'as now both the girls have had an outing'. Thinking having a tea party for the 'gardiners [sic] & people close here about' but they have not yet settled this; the 'school tree [or treat?]' is on 4 January. Sir George began work today; he is well, but whenever she returns after being away she 'can't help seeing how old he looks!'; he keeps up too many fires for Caroline's comfort. Hope Robert could talk to Mr [Donald] Tovey; supposes he will take on the work [the libretto for Tovey's "The Bride of Dionysus"?]. Hearne [the butler] went to a concert in the village last night 'with the girls' and says it was 'very good'. Sir George very indignant with the Lords; she is sure it is 'the beginning of a long struggle'. Glad Robert is reading aloud to Elizabeth.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Does not know why Trevelyan has not received the enclosed [now missing: an invitation for Fry's exhibition at the Alpine Club?]: Trevelyan's father says he cannot come but has the dates wrong. Is fascinated by [Forster's] "The Longest Journey": reminds him more of Gorky than anything else. Logan [Pearsall Smith], however, 'kicks at it'. Is going to Perugia tomorrow for the Exhibition ["Mostra di antica arte umbra"]. Helen is much better. Does not think they will manage the Tovey concerts this time. A postscript notes that [William John?] Evelyn will not agree to the necessary improvements, so the Frys are still househunting.

Box 7

Materials relating to Donald Tovey: 1-151 are mainly letters, postcards, and telegrams from Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan (49 is an address to the Reid Orchestra to be read out on Tovey's behalf; 73 comprises rough notes on "The Bride of Dionysus"; 90-91 is a draft telegram from R. C. Trevelyan to Tovey);
152-200 are letters, postcards, and a telegram from Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan. Occasionally both Trevelyans are addressed.
201 is a postcard from Tovey to Julian Trevelyan

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Asks what is wrong with 'the dear and absolutely indispensable poet' [Robert Trevelyan]. 'Poor D.F.T' [Donald Tovey] had 'half his head torn of by the dentist' on Thursday, and she herself ended the term yesterday then had 'a portion of [her] leg removed'. However, they are both well, and there is 'nothing evil' in her leg. Asks for news, and if Bessie would like Donald to visit around the beginning of September before he goes to the Dakyns.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

Englefield Green, Surrey. - Thanks Trevelyan for 'Henry Adney' [Ariadne: i.e. Trevelyan's first draft of the libretto for "The Bride of Dionysus" and apologises for not acknowledging receipt sooner. Will calculate the length of scenes and the whole, but does not think it will need much altering; suggests replacing the Satyr and his song [Act III, Scene II] with a second chorus of Maenads, and ending the work with a 'short Bacchic-philosophic chorus' modelled on an earlier 'captive-chorus'. Is already very excited about the work, and feels it has 'any amount of poetry & contrast & flow': sketches out the moods of the four acts. Miss Weisse also thinks it very beautiful. Is not sure when he will be able to begin, but will try some 'crude extempore experiments' very soon; doesn't expect major rhythmic difficulties, though he may have to sacrifice certain 'verbal rhythmical effects' which will not be noticeable when set to music. Trevelyan can publish his poem before the opera is ready, as long as they ensure the rights do not interfere with those of the poem: it would be awkward if the opera had to be published without words, or if Richard Strauss were to 'combine Ariadne with an operatic version of Bernard Shaw's Philanderer' before he was ready. Will 'agitate at Oxford' as soon as he starts composition, and ask for help 'in wire-pulling & preparing the ground'. It will be a 'large undertaking' and he fears his intention of doing it with 'a pre-Wagnerian orchestra' will not be feasible; will know more when he has sketched out the first act, and will do it for a small orchestra if he can.

Tovey returns to the letter 'three days later', with about twenty pages of detailed suggestions for the libretto: some of these are alterations of a word or two, others suggestions for additions or rearrangements, to best suit Tovey's conception of the characters and / or musical needs. Has other suggestions which he will make later. Emphasises that most of his alterations are very slight, a line or two only, except for the speeches of Minos and Dionysus in which he has suggested new arguments. Thinks Trevelyan has chosen a splendid story and succeeded despite Tovey's 'croaking'; he has written a play which 'cries out for music & is unlike any opera-book... that has ever been seen.' Will soon be 'boiling over with themes & contrasts'; finds it significant that all the musical ideas he has begun to have so far are connected with points which are 'most entirely [Trevelyan's]', who has taken up Tovey's past suggestions patiently but made them his own; he therefore has no hesitation in sending 'all this screed of details' as he knows Trevelyan will make of them something better than he could have imagined.

Gets through the first act in his head with extempore music, probably a little quick, in forty minutes; this is 'not very alarming' for four hundred lines out of fifteen hundred and fifty lines. Wishes Trevelyan would publish the text 'nicely got up' like his "Polyphemus", and omitting any alterations made by Tovey which are 'merely musical or practical'; it would 'aid its career as an opera if it is understood as literature' beforehand and even performed as such, maybe with choruses set to Tovey's music. Invites Trevelyan, his wife and son, to see 'the Miltonic Arcades' [at Northlands?] for which he has composed the songs.

Letter from Duncan Crookes Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

Worplesdon Rectory, Guildford. - Don [Donald Tovey] has been 'on one of his very fugitive visits' and read Trevelyan's "Ariadne" ["The Bride of Dionysus"], which gave them so much pleasure that Tovey is writing to tell Trevelyan. Is sure that Trevelyan and Donald's joint work [on the opera] will be 'epochmaking in the history of English history and music'. Only has criticism of the 'most pedantic kind', which he will not bother to write; if the public can stand the Wagnerian legend for the sake of the music, they should really appreciate 'what is truly classical in the best sense'. Encourages Trevelyan to visit, as he promised after they had 'deposited [Henry?] Jackson at the Charing Cross Hotel after that miraculous & bewildering ride in the motor omnibus'. A postscript asks whether [Thomas Babington] Macauley did indeed call Versailles 'a huge heap of littleness'; is sure he did, following [Thomas] Gray's use of a phrase from [Alexander] Pope; invites Trevelyan to see 'how minute [he is] becoming or become'. Also asks Trevelyan whether he is aware that the Arthurian legend exists in Scotland, and that at Meigle in Perthshire 'they show you the tomb of Queen Wander' who was pulled apart by wild horses 'for nae gude that she did', and Wander is Guinevere [see Gray, '"Works" (1825) vol II p. 274].

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