by Andrea Palmer
Bentley is the soloist in Stuart Diamond’s fascinating Konzerto, which the composer describes as "the reimagining of the great romantic violin concertos of the 19th century" (Electronic Artists Records EA 102A). In almost every sense a "traditional" Romantic violin concerto, the big difference in this work is that the orchestral accompaniment is electronic and features synthesizers and MIDI sequencing. This a concerto of great beauty and inventiveness. The other work on the CD is Diamond’s Succubus, a six-movement tone poem for violin (Karen Bentley again), soprano (Kerry Walsh) and electronic orchestra. Both this disc and Ariel View demonstrate that a contemporary electronic sound can be married to traditional "classical" musicianship; and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they encourage your kids (or your students) to persevere with their own violin practice when nothing else inspires them. Try casually playing the music in your car on the school run, or just before the lesson starts, and see what reaction you get.