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Elegy

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Price £6.00

30 publications in this series

The Fizz @ 50 series

A series of fifty short pieces for double bass and piano from composers throughout the world, instigated by David Heyes to celebrate his 50th birthday. Each composer received a bottle of champagne (Fizz) as payment.


Elegy was composed in 2011 and this edition includes accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tuning and is also available for double bass and string orchestra. The music is lyrical, modern and accessible and allows the bassist to display the sonorous and cantabile qualities of the double bass. The simple and supportive accompaniment is primarily chordal, with rich sonorities and textures above which the solo double bass weaves its gently moving melodies.

Armand Russell writes: 'The Elegy was written as a reflection on the poem 'What is our Life?' by Sir Walter Raleigh. After setting this poem for voice and piano I considered writing and additional piece concerned with the content of the text. Thus the elegy came into being not as an interpretation of the poem but as a response to it after some reflection.'

What is our life? A play of passion,
Our mirth the music of division;
Our mothers' wombs the tiring-houses be
Where we are dressed for this short comedy;
Heaven the judicious, sharp spectator is
That sits and marks still who doth act amiss;
Our graves that hide us from the searching sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done:
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest,
Only we die in earnest, that's no jest.
Sir Walter Raleigh (1612)


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. RM504
Supplier Code RM504
Price £6.00
ComposerArmand Russell
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesFizz @ 50
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-504-1
EAN-13 9790570455041
Weight 67 grams
Published 25th July 2013
Availability 9 in stock
See also...
RM543  Duo-ASTA
RM545  Hawai'i Variations
RM583  Cameos (DOUBLE BASS SOLO)
RM758  Companions (TWO DOUBLE BASSES & PIANO)