When Chamber guru Geoff Nuttall bounded onstage today wearing a really loud, ‘70s-style Hawaiian shirt, we just knew something special was afoot. Sure enough, he lost no time in telling us that he felt compelled to don such outlandish garb in consideration of the “wild and crazy” nature of the program’s first selection — even though it was from the Baroque era. He went on to characterize the piece as a “1960s-style acid trip,” despite being nearly three centuries old.

He was speaking of the Trio Sonata No. 3 by the woefully neglected Czech composer Jan Zelenka: a tunesmith whom even the great JS Bach admired (and copied). Sure enough, his music is pretty far out for the Baroque: unusual harmonic modulations, rhythmic tricks, and other assorted twists and turns not normally heard way back then — but I’d stop short of calling it an acid trip. Still, such characteristics help to make Zelenka an endlessly fascinating composer; I’ve long wondered why his music is so seldom heard.

The entire piece, in a slow-fast-slow-fast movement sequence, was of fabulous quality and interest throughout. I thought the final movement’s lively violin-oboe exchanges and heady structure were something special. But it was the second movement’s headlong romp, led by Peter Kolkay’s brash bassoon, that blew me the farthest away. The music’s dizzying tumble of brainy counterpoint over an almost endless cascade of perilously speedy bassoon runs was absolutely amazing. Nuttall commented on it afterward: “Does the man not need to breathe like the rest of us? We should call him something like Peter Parker: mild-mannered music professor by day who turns into this superhuman bassoon hero at will.” I agree: Kolkay rocks! Oh — and his colleagues Ms. Frautschi (violin), Mr. Smith (oboe), and Mr. Muzijevik (harpsichord) rocked, too — they just didn’t have to work quite as hard.