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Percy Scholes described Davies as 'a man of whims' and this is demonstrated by his wide-ranging career. Davies was also an important teacher; his Saturday morning class in 1914 contained George Thalben-Ball, Arthur Bliss, Ivor Gurney, Arthur Benjamin, Eugene Goossens, Herbert Howells and Douglas Fox.
Of the many stories that surround Davies's life, one in particular is worth recounting. He was taken ill one Sunday at the Temple Church and George Thalben-Ball was sent for to play evensong. It being 'Cantata Sunday', Thalben-Ball found a full score of Bach's B minor Mass on the organ console from which he was expected to play. The deputation sent to obtain the services of the young Thalben-Ball said to him, 'By the way, we usually do it down a semitone'!
As a composer Davies earned some recognition with his oratorio Everyman (1904) and with a well-known RAF march. Although his music has been described as 'sentimental', the composer captures the mood perfectly in his short anthem Blessed are the pure in heart.
from notes by William McVicker © 1995