Hebrides Ensemble, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh
From Living Scotsman - 22-Mar-06 12:17 BST
IN RECENT years the new music flag has been kept flying in Edinburgh largely thanks to the sterling efforts of the Hebrides Ensemble and the Edinburgh Contemporary Music Trust (ECAT) - which commissioned three world premieres, tributes to the blues, for this event.
William Sweeney's Night Songs, for clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano, was a glorious laid-back evocation of balmy summer nights, and the lively interplay between the instruments was superb. The sultry bass clarinet sent shivers up the spine, then was given a more Mediterranean feel in Geoffrey King's new piece Spanish Moods for bass clarinet and piano. Fragments of De Falla weaved their way into the music along with input from Bach, which gave it a relaxed and improvisational feel.
Twine, for viola and cello, by Iain Mathieson, brought the two instruments together, blurring their boundaries, with one constantly shadowing or echoing the other.
Other delights included John Adams's feat of endurance for violin and piano Road Movies, two quirky piano pieces by Stravinsky, three stunning trios by Mark-Anthony Turnage and Jack Body's witty Tribute to the Blues.