Headed by ISO principal clarinetist David Bellman and his
wife, ISO cellist Ingrid Fischer-Bellman, the Ronen Chamber Ensemble returned to
their always-former home, the Circle Theatre Wood Room for three works made for
experiencing in these intimate surroundings. First we had the Suite d'après Corrette for oboe,
clarinet, and bassoon by Darius Milhaud (1892-1974). The oboist was Wei-Tzu
Chiu, an Indianapolis resident
currently in her senior high-school year at the Interlochen Arts Academy
Clearly showing remarkable talent, Chiu held her own with
Bellman and ISO bassoonist Oleksiy Zakharov in the suite's contrasting eight
parts, beginning with "Entrée et Rondeau" and ending with "Le Coucou." Chiu
showed lots of promise as a potential future symphony-orchestra oboist.
Next came the Serenata for Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet,
Violin and Cello, in six parts, by Italian composer Alfredo Casella
(1883-1947)--more spiky . . . and more interesting than
the Milhaud. ISO principal Marvin Perry played the trumpet, Areta Zhulla the
violin--in her Indy debut--and Fischer-Bellman the cello. The work's opening "Marcia" recalls the
opening of Stravinsky's more famous chamber piece L'Histoire du Soldat in its pounding rhythm. Strong contrasts
abounded, with No. 5, "Cavatina," employing only violin and cello. That the
five players were clearly having fun with the piece made it all the more
enjoyable for the rest of us sitting very near them.
Continuing this season's Brahms cycle, the Ronens concluded
with the German Romantic's Piano Trio No. 1
in B, Op. 8, but completely rewritten late in his life,
making it the most profound of the three works Brahms gave us in that genre.
The only "new" player was pianist Gregory Martin. The Zhulla/Fischer-Bellman/Martin
trio once again made this Brahms and an ingratiatingly immediate experience,
sharing their best in giving us Brahms at his best.
The Ronen series returns on Monday, March 11, 2013, this time to the Christel DeHaan Center
at UIndy, as part of the university's Faculty Artist Series. The concert is
free-admission and is titled "Brahms and the Moderns." Brahms'
Clarinet Trio will be featured along with works of Liebermann and Nielsen. Jan. 29; Hilbert Circle Theatre