IT WAS NOT UNTIL HE WAS APPOINTED MUSICAL DIRECTOR OF THE VIC-WELLS BALLET that he finally established his reputation as an authority on ballet. He took the Company to Paris for the 1937 Exhibition, and in 1939 appeared with them before the King and Queen at a special gala performance. The Ballet was reaching a high standard of perfection when war broke out and imposed great difficulties upon the Company. Nevertheless, it was not long before they were touring the provinces again - without an orchestra, and relying entirely upon two pianos, one of which Lambert had to play himself! They were in Holland on a propaganda tour when the Germans overran the country in 1940, and they had to fly for their lives.
In his association with the BBC, he has always specialized in
programmes of contemporary and ballet music, and it is only in the last two or
three years that he has done symphonic work. Recently, too, he has toured with
the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and worked with E.N.S.A.  in the
provision of symphony concerts for factory workers.
Constant Lambert considers that the present routine of
concert-giving is stultifying the art of music, for although he appreciates
that the more popular works of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven have often to be used
to draw the public, he can see no reason why the vast number of lesser-known
compositions should not be mixed in with the popular music. The leading
symphony orchestras should have a much larger and more varied repertoire.
It is interesting to note that far more modern and unusual
work can be played in concerts given to factory workers than in the programmes
played to the more sophisticated audiences in London Constant Lambert - finds
that the "new" audiences appreciate anything that possesses vitality
He insists that we should do far more of the earlier works, because most people's knowledge of music starts with Beethoven, and the bulk of the music written before his time is unknown to them. There is also a tremendous amount of fine Russian and French music that has never been performed in this country. The neglect of this - as of the works of many of our contemporary composers - is probably due to the lack of time for adequate rehearsal in the arrangements of most of our orchestras to-day. The programmes we get now are becoming far too stereotyped: must we always have one symphony and one piano concerto? Lambert would like to see far more programmes made up of attractive smaller works.
The present boom in music will subside, he thinks, and therefore after the war we must be far more enterprising, choosing our programmes with greater care and thought for the audiences. People tolerate inferior work now because the war has restricted their other forms of entertainment and-recreation; but as soon as conditions revert to normal, as soon as people get the use of their cars again for weekends in the country, only first-class concerts will attract them.
Donald Brook’s pen portrait takes the reader up to about
1944. Lambert was unfit for active service during the war years. However, he toured
with E.N.S.A.at both home and abroad. Until his death he continued with
conducting engagements with the Proms, Covent Garden and Sadler’s Wells.
The 1940s and 1950s saw few new compositions. Lambert
contributed two film scores – Merchant Seamen and Anna Karenina.
There was also incidental music for a stage performance of Hamlet. In
1950, his Trois Pièces Nègres Pour Les Touches Blanches for piano duet
was published by Oxford University Press. Lambert’s final score was the long
ballet, Tiresias, which was based on the story of a Greek seer who
changes sex. The premiere performance received typically negative reviews.
On 21 August 1951, Constant Lambert died. Overwork, an excess
of alcohol and ill-health had taken their toll.
 E.N.S.A (Entertainments National Service Association) was
set up in 1939 by Basil Dean and Leslie Henson. It provided a wide range of
entertainment to members of the armed forces- both low and high brow. The
initials were affectionately renamed as Every Night Something Awful!