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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.

ADVENTURES was originally called Ventures and was composed in 1971. This suite of five short pieces is ideal for the intermediate bassist offering effective recital repertoire in the lower orchestral register of the double bass. None of the pieces outstay their welcome and they can be performed singly or as a suite.

1. The Returning Idea features a two bar motive which returns twice, first in inversion and then an octave lower. The accompanient contrasts a slow and chordal figure in the right hand against a more repetitive and insistent rhythmic figure in the left.
2. Two Contrasting Voices features arco and pizzicato effects for the double bass with a relaxed and slow moving chordal accompaniment.
3. An Emerging Concern begins gently but becomes stronger, with its intense and dramatic climax subsiding towards a gentler conclusion.
4. Travelling Friends combines a lyrical and sonorous solo line with two contrasting ideas in the accompanient - a busy active moving quaver figure and a slow chordal element, primarily in 3rds, to create a harmonic foundation.
5. Actions & Thoughts is in ternary form. The actions are the vigorous and bold passages in the fast and last sections, framing a more thoughtful and quieter melodic section.

No.4 Travelling Friends has been selected for inclusion on the 2010 Intermediate Certificate repertoire list by Trinity-Guildhall Exams.

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.


  • Actions & Thoughts
  • An Emerging Concern
  • The Returning Idea
  • Travelling Friends
  • Two Contrasting Voices

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Cat No. RM416
Price £8.50
ComposerArmand Russell
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesBeginner Bass Series
Difficulty level4 - 5
ISMN 979-0-57045-416-7
EAN-13 9790570454167
Weight 86 grams
Published 18th October 2009
Availability 7 in stock
See also...
RM301  4 Easy Pieces
RM554  Teppo's Ten 'plus Two'