This was effectively the start of the Scottish Ensemble's season, which explains the slick promo video that opened the concert.

The group needs no multimedia extras to tell us they're in good form; their characteristically stylish and energetic playing spoke for itself. The Conservatoire's Stevenson Hall isn't the ideal venue for them, though. Its acoustic made the strings sound a bit distant and deceptively unfocused.

The Ensemble's powerhouse is its upper half – its violins and violas – and in Mozart's Divertimento K136 their buoyant drive brought exuberance to the outer movements and breezy elegance to the Andante. Schumann's A major String Quartet was played in an augmented arrangement by the Ensemble's leader Jonathan Morton – always an interesting exercise, but in this case not as successful as, say, his ensemble version of Janácek's Kreutzer Sonata. The balancing act here between individual and ensemble voices was uneasy, and often Schumann's score simply lost its intimacy and gained too fleshy a texture. Even the second movement's gutsy fifth variation and the chunky finale missed the rawness that comes from a smaller group giving its all.

After the interval we heard the first in a new series of 'musical postcards' from Glaswegian composer Martin Suckling. In Memoriam EMS is a superb miniature – an atmospheric snapshot of wispy nostalgia glinting through shimmering microtones and haunting tonal allusions. Look forward to more postcards from Suckling through the season.

The programme ended in a striking account of Britten's Illuminations with the excellent young Scottish tenor Thomas Walker. His voice isn't huge but his agility and emotional involvement were compelling, and fully matched by the Ensemble.

Video artist Netia Jones provided backdrops of fairground scenes, cities and seascapes artfully shifting around Rimbaud's heady texts.