Three members of the Hebrides Ensemble give a little gem of a concert at Greyfriars Kirk this evening at 6.30pm—an unusual time for a concert, but it leaves most of the evening free for other things. It features Scotland’s leading cellist, William Conway, French clarinetist Yann Ghiro, and pianist Philip Moore. The theme is East/West, with music from America, Europe and South Korea.

The concert begins with a work by Kenneth LeightonFantasy on an American Hymn Tune. The tune is At the River, a hymn written in 1865 by Robert Lowry, which has been much arranged by many other composers since. Leighton’s composition is heavily influenced by jazz and American popular music, and features great solos for the cello and clarinet.

The second item this evening is Debussy’s showpiece Rhapsodie for clarinet and piano, written for the Paris Conservatoire when Debussy was invited to join their board. It is a wonderful clarinet work, and is expertly played by Ghiro, accompanied by Moore.

The concert continues with an interesting work by South Korean composer Isang Yun, who led an extraordinary life. He was imprisoned by both the Japanese and South Koreans, yet managed to produce some very good music, including this evening’s work, Espace 1 for cello and piano. This really does bridge Eastern and Western music, and allows Conway to perform wonderfully.

The concert concludes with FP43, a very interesting trio by Poulenc, who (unlike Debussy) was excluded from the Paris Conservatoire for being too modern. This work is full of colour and melody, and is a fitting end to this enjoyable teatime concert. The Hebrides Ensemble do like to do at least one “teatime” or “rush hour” concert a year, and the audience this evening, in this lovely setting at Greyfriars, certainly enjoy it.