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Companions is scored for 2 double basses and piano and the edition includes two piano accompaniments for solo and orchestral tuning.

Companions has several themes that help give a dramatic quality to the work. The first and last sections are closely related and provide a stable frame for the work while a longer middle section brings a drama to the fore. In the middle section the two double basses alternate answering each other back and forth with some contention. After a brief reconciliation even stronger alternation and contention develops anew with different ideas and leads to a critical crest. Thereafter they exchange their differences more gently until it leads to a more complete reconciliation. The stable, calm and intertwining spirit of the opening section returns for the final section. Throughout the piano is the bystander to the drama, asserting briefly its identity at the very beginning, again in a transition to the middle section and near the end in the midst of the lyric and calm return in the final section.

Companions was premiered on Monday 17 September 2012 at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset, UK) by David Heyes (double bass), Mette Hanskov (double bass) and Chris Finch (piano).

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.

Cat No. RM758
Supplier Code RM758
Price £9.50
ComposerArmand Russell
CategoriesTwo Double Basses & Piano
Double Bass Duet
PublisherRecital Music
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-758-8
EAN-13 9790570457588
Weight 102 grams
Published 16th October 2014
Availability 8 in stock
See also...
RM545  Hawai'i Variations (DOUBLE BASS & PIANO)
RM684  Alkan Variations (DOUBLE BASS DUET)
RM1103  Bodega Set (DOUBLE BASS DUET)