New Logan Center charms

By M.L. RANTALA
Classical Music Critic

Everyone’s talking about the new Logan Center, and with good reason. It’s big and in places beautiful, and while it’s short on bike racks, it’s long on interesting events. Last Tuesday the University of Chicago Presents brought Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante to the Performance Hall at Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St., and the results were charming.

The Performance Hall (presumably waiting for a big donor before giving the space a different name) was glinty golden as the Italian ensemble took the stage to serve up early music with both flair and restraint.

They opened with Vivaldi’s Trio Sonata in D minor, “La Follia,” which they infused with lots of bounce and nicely drawn contrasts. Couperin’s Grand Sonata en trio, “Le Parnasse ou l’Apotheose de Corelli” was similarly frisky and the group handled the various moods with sophistication.

The relatively little-known Michele Mascitti was represented on the program by his Psyché: Violin Sonata in D Major, a program piece telling the story of Psyche and Eros, which the ensemble told in committed fashion.
Corelli’s Sonata, Op. 5, No. 12 (another “La Follia”) was given evocative treatment and there was lots of excitement in Trattenimento armonico by Francisco José de Castro. The two encores — Gran Battaglia by Marco Uccellini and Tambourin by Jean-Marie LeClaire — were engaging and well received.