[Sir Claude Phillips, art historian.] 'Confidential' Autograph Letter Signed ('Claude Phillips') to the musicologist R. A. Streatfeild, asking, on behalf of 'poor Lady Elgar', what to do about 'the treatment of the two great oratorios'.

Sir Claude Phillips (1846-1924), eminent Victorian art historian and art critic, first keeper of the Wallace Collection [Richard Alexander Streatfeild (1866-1919), musicologist; Sir Edward Elgar]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 40 Ashburn Place, S.W. [London] 24 April [no year].
SKU: 21276

He asks Streatfeild to advise him in a matter 'which speaks for itself'. He reports that 'poor Lady Elgar is greatly distressed – and not without reason – at the treatment of the two great oratorios'. Phillips does not 'quite see what is to be done in the way of protest', although he finds that the 'statement that they “fail with audiences &c” is certainly false in fact, [last three words underlined] and therefore almost libellous'. Phillips considers 'the rest […] a matter of opinion. Perhaps even more false and absurd is the statement, or opinion, that they appeal only to the intellect. How about the Judas Scene and the Final Chorus of the “Apostles”.' (The reference is to Elgar's oratorio 'The Kingdom', 1906.) Phillips ends by apologising for bothering Streatfeild, and asks in a postscript, 'How are you?'