Passages cl/vc/pno

"Last Tuesday the Ronen Chamber Ensemble capped its season by presenting...the debut performance of one of our own. Composer, jazz pianist, and University of Indianapolis faculty member Christopher Rutkowski just completed Passages, Trio for clarinet, cello and piano, and Ronen regulars David Bellman, Ingrid Fischer-Bellman, and Richard Ratliff gave the work its first life in sound...

With Passages, Rutkowski delivers another winner, repeating his 2002 success in this series. Our performers pulled from its first movement, "Halaka," some Mediterranean "orientalisms" coupled with a jazzy, bouncy feel, Bellman adding (purposefully) a few clarinet flutters to the mix. The composer's ensuing "Lament" begins with a lovely cello line which heads an ensemble progression with varying dynamics; it nonetheless remains movingly somber throughout. The contrasting final movement, "Dancing...on an Eight-Spoked Wheel," beams with optimism as Ratliff begins with a rhythmically repeated low D..."

Tom Aldridge, "Mystery and Debut" Nuvo, May 26-June 4, 2004

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