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4 Easy Pieces

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The Beginner Bass Series series

Recital Music publish music for every level of double bassist and in the past few years have concentrated on music for the younger player. This new and exciting series includes works with simple, accessible technical and musical challenges for beginners and progressing bassists. Piano accompaniments are supportive and written with the bass teacher in mind, creating a new repertoire which is ideal for concert and educational use.

4 Easy Pieces was composed in late 2009 for BassLines, a new initiative by David Heyes and Recital Music, to create a wealth of music for beginner bassists. Armand Russell has written many works for double bass during a successful career as a composer, bassist and university professor, and writes in a modern, direct but accessible idiom.

Autumn Moods (No.3) has been selected for Level 2 and Winter Games (No.4) has been selected for Level 3 by MTB Exams (www.mtbexams.com)

Each of the four pieces offers simple musical and technical challenges, with a supportive accompaniment which was written for the bass teacher with some pianistic skills, and would be suitable concert or study material for younger players.

1. Spring Dreams uses open strings only and can be played pizzicato or arco. The note values are limited to crotchets and minims with a gently moving accompaniment to move the piece gently along.

2. Summer Sports is also for open strings and is a faster and more rhythmic, with a combination of pizzicato and arco challenges. The accompaniment is strong and direct and there are opportunities to develop counting skills here.

3. Autumn Moods uses 1st position only and is a lyrical and cantabile piece with some technical chllenges for about grade 1 level. The bass part is limited to 6 notes and three time values in D minor.

4. Winter Games is the longest of the four pieces, but again is limited to 7 notes in 1st position, in the key of D major. The challenges for the bassist make this suitable for about Grade 1/2 level and is a fitting conclusion to this easy going and enjoyable suite.

Armand Russell was born in Seattle, Washington in 1932. He received the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Washington, with a major in music composition, and a Doctorate in music composition from the Eastman School of Music. He studied double bass with Leslie Martin, who played in the Seattle Symphony and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and at the Eastman School of Music with Oscar Zimmerman. His composition studies were with John Verrall and George McKay at the University of Washington, and with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson at the Eastman School.

Professionally, Armand Russell played double bass in many orchestras including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Tour Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic and Civic Orchestras, and Honolulu Symphony. For five years he taught as a visiting Professor at the Eastman School of Music. From 1961 to 1994 he taught at the University of Hawaii Music Department and retired as Professor emeritus in 1994. While at the University of Hawaii he taught music theory, composition and double bass and also served as Chair of the Music Department for seven years.

Armand Russell has composed many works for double bass and also percussion, including solos, chamber music and concertos. Some of his most frequently performed works include Chaconne (Db/Pno), Buffo Set (Db/Pno), Harlequin Concerto (Db/Orch), Pas de Deux (Cl/Perc), Percussion Suite, Theme & Fantasia (Concert Band) and Suite Concertante (Tuba/Wind Quintet). He has also composed several works for choirs in recent years and has continued to write for the double bass alongside a growing body of chamber music and transcriptions.

Armand Russell's compositional style is confident and direct with a clarity of line and texture always to the fore. A modern, yet lyrical and accessible style, has created works which communicate equally to performers and audiences alike and he has made, and continues to make, a unique and valuable contribution to the double bass litereature throughout a long and successful career.

Recital Music is planning a celebration of Armand Russell's music at Bass-Fest in 2012 to celebrate the composers 80th birthday.


  • 1. Spring Daydreams
  • 2. Summer Sports
  • 3. Autumn Moods
  • 4. Winter Games

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Cat No. RM301
Supplier Code RM301
Price £8.50
ComposerArmand Russell
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesBeginner Bass Series
Difficulty levelBeginner, 1 - 2
ISMN 979-0-57045-301-6
EAN-13 9790570453016
Weight 66 grams
Published 10th March 2015
Availability 5 in stock
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RM417  Challenges
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