18 OCTOBER 1968, Page 30


Sir: I have not read M.‘r Reid's book, but know that he was a genuine admirer of Sir Malcolm Sargent and am sure, therefore, that it is fair as far as it goes. Unfortunately, however, like. Mr Hope-Wallace (11 October), he did not know his subject very well, and more is the pity for as any of Sir Malcolm's close personal and musical friends would tell these gentlemen, there was, indeed, 'much beneath the surface'; an exceptionally brilliant and gifted musician, of extraordinary generosity, with a deep and inspiring religious faith, which was largely re- sponsible for his renowned joie de vivre— often misunderstood as superficial by those who did not know him well. A man who, on losing his only beloved daughter crippled by polio at an early age, could say to you, when rarely speaking of this shattering experience : 'I could not have wanted her to live like that —I only prayed for the courage to sing the Te Deum at her Requiem.' Here was depth indeed.