4 Easy Pieces was composed in late 2009 for BassLines, a new initiative by David Heyes and Recital Music, to create a wealth of music for beginner bassists.
Armand Russell has written many works for double bass during a successful career as a composer, bassist and university professor, and writes in a modern, direct but accessible idiom.
Each of the four pieces offers simple musical and technical challenges, with a supportive accompaniment which was written for the bass teacher with some pianistic skills, and would be suitable concert or study material for younger players.
1. Spring Dreams uses open strings only and can be played pizzicato or arco. The note values are limited to crotchets and minims with a gently moving accompaniment to move the piece gently along.
2. Summer Sports is also for open strings and is a faster and more rhythmic, with a combination of pizzicato and arco challenges. The accompaniment is strong and direct and there are opportunities to develop counting skills here.
3. Autumn Moods uses 1st position only and is a lyrical and cantabile piece with some technical chllenges for about grade 1 level. The bass part is limited to 6 notes and three time values in D minor.
4. Winter Games is the longest of the four pieces, but again is limited to 7 notes in 1st position, in the key of D major. The challenges for the bassist make this suitable for about Grade 1/2 level and is a fitting conclusion to this easy going and enjoyable suite.