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Armand Russell writes: 'Excursions was written for double bass quartet and is also playable by massed basses. It is divided into three sections with the middle section being slower and each played without intervening pauses. The first has two themes that appear in each part, one after the other, while being accompanied by the others. Finally the themes are played with more players being prominent together. The second section has the ensemble playing together in chordal fashion most of the time with some separation between the basses, but finally they all get together in a unified way. The final section is very much like a fugue, that is with a theme appearing by itself and then imitated by others in turn until all have played it. After the theme has been passed around amongst the players there is a chance for the highest instruments to play the theme with a very slow rhythm while the other players keep busy below. Finally they join in a common cause and a unified effect for the ending.'

Excursions was premiered at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset, UK) on 9 November 2012 by David Heyes, Joe Prindl, Nic Lum and Josie Jobbins.

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.

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Cat No. RM540
Supplier Code RM540
Price £9.50
ComposerArmand Russell
CategoryDouble Bass Quartet
PublisherRecital Music
Difficulty level5 - 8
ISMN 979-0-57045-540-9
EAN-13 9790570455409
Weight 100 grams
Published 26th April 2013
Availability 4 in stock
See also...
RM545  Hawai'i Variations (DOUBLE BASS & PIANO)
RM582  The Bass Affair
RM656  Giants & Gods - Five Quartets for Young Bassists
RM788  Valse Triste
RM870  Songs of Old Mexico