Tuesday’s first outing of the Chamber VIII program offered a couple of musical rarities, but the first item on the agenda wasn’t one of them, unless you count the rare skill with which it was played. I’m speaking of Felix Mendelssohn’s Rondo Capricciosofor solo piano. The piece is a concert staple for pianists who’ve got the fingers for it. Written when Mendelssohn was just 15 and revised four years later, it offers the same kind of blithe, elfin spirit that suffuses several of the composer’s other youthful masterpieces.

Doing the keyboard honors was fabulous Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan, back in town for his second go at Spoleto — and he certainly had the fingers for it. If you don’t know the piece, it can come as quite a surprise when, after its slow and dramatic opening and limpid piano “aria,” all heck breaks loose, and the listener is suddenly buried in a frenzied flurry of fast notes — really fast notes. With treacherous trills (in thirds), flashing arpeggios, thundering octaves and sparkling runs, there’s hardly a virtuoso trick missing. And Barnatan, fingers flying, dealt with it like it was child’s play. Many pianists look scared when they play this one — but Inon just looked like he was having fun.