Sir Henry Walford Davies KCVO OBE (6 September 1869 – 11 March 1941) was an English composer, conductor and educator who held the title Master of the King's Music from 1934 until 1941.
Davies was musical adviser to the British Broadcasting Corporation, and became known to a wide public for his explanatory talks on music between 1924 and 1941, which brought him great popularity with British radio audiences.
He was a chorister at St George's Chapel, Windsor, under Sir George Elvey. When his voice broke in 1885 Davies left the choir and later that year was appointed organist of the royal chapel of All Saints, Windsor Great Park.
In 1890 Davies was awarded a scholarship in composition at the Royal College of Music, London, where he was a student until 1894. He received his doctorate from Cambridge in 1898, and later that year was appointed organist and director of the choir at the Temple Church in the City of London, a post he retained until 1923. As an organist he became well known both as a soloist and as a teacher. As a conductor he directed the London Church Choir Association and succeeded Stanford at the Bach Choir.
As a composer, he is most known for his "Solemn Melody" and the small anthem, "God be in my head." In 1926 he was appointed by the BBC as a musical adviser, and from 1927 to 1932 he was organist and director of the choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor.
"Interlude (or Melody) in C" is quite a rare item. I've had this for years, but never did it, always being somewhat "fearful" of it. It was composed in 1937 and dedicated "To G.T.B.," Davies' successor at the Temple Church, George Thalben-Ball. It was a popular piece in his recitals, but had never been published. Basil Ramsey published it in 1976 through the Trustees of the Walford Davies Estate.
Musical and performance notes are given in the First Comment.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of H. Walford Davies and of George Thalben-Ball.
Special music for July 4th coming!