Hilbert Circle Theatre Wood Room; Oct. 13.
Beginning its 26th season, the Ronen Chamber Ensemble did last Tuesday what it does best: share a mix of esoteric and standard selections in the most intimate venue in town. Ronen co-founders, ISO principal clarinetist David Bellman and ISO cellist Ingrid Fischer-Bellman were joined by two additional ISO players: flutist Rebecca Price Arrensen and - making her Ronen debut - 1st violinist Michelle Kang. Local pianist Eugenio Urrutia-Borlando (a native of Chile) provided the dash that made the concluding Beethoven Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 1 No. 3, the high point of the evening. Clearly a big advancement over Beethoven's first two Op. 1's, the team of Kang, Fischer-Bellman and Urrutia penetrated deeply into the young composer's score. Near perfect entrances, flashy tempos where called for, and nice dynamic and tempo nuances marked their playing. Displaying a well controlled tone and virtuosic ease, Kang impressed enough to be a regular part of this series. Urrutia's crystal clear passage work gives him the edge over most previous Ronen pianists. Fisher-Bellman continued to show her chamber-playing finesse in the opening Bach Suite No. 3 in C major for Solo Cello, changing to a newly acquired Baroque bow for the "Bouree," which lightened the color just a bit. Ronen's esoteric offering followed: André Jolivet's Sonatine for Flute and Clarinet (1961), an atonal but colorful tour-de-force for Arrensen and Bellman, sounding in places like chirping birds.