The Bass Affair

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Price £9.50

The Bass Affair was completed in November 2012 and is playable by bass quartet or larger forces. A single movement work, full of contrasts and invention, the combination of harmonic and contrapuntal styles adds to the energy and momentum and there is something of importance and interest for each player.

The opening theme is strong and confident, contrasted by the effective syncopation, and returns in a number of keys and guises as a unifying force. Pizzicato passages vary the colours and textures available to the bass ensemble and the dramatic ending, with its fanfare-like rhythms and approach, brings the piece to a strong and powerful conclusion.

The style is effective, tonal and accessible and The Bass Affair would fit easily into any recital programme and for any audience.

The Bass Affair was premiered at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset, UK) on 29 September 2013 by a massed bass orchestra directed by David Heyes.


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. RM582
Supplier Code RM582
Price £9.50
ComposerArmand Russell
CategoryDouble Bass Quartet
Difficulty level6 - 8
ISMN 979-0-57045-582-9
EAN-13 9790570455829
Weight 101 grams
Published 26th November 2013
Availability 4 in stock
See also...
RM540  Excursions
RM545  Hawai'i Variations (DOUBLE BASS & PIANO)
RM791  Seven Small Pieces