A stunning chamber music ensemble from the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston treated Islanders to a one-of-a-kind musical experience, March 12 at the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ. Brought to the Island via the auspices of the Sanibel Music Festival, the group performed repertoire from vibrant corners of the Baroque repertoire on period instruments and authentic reproductions of period instruments.

The program consisted of the Baroque all-stars Antonio Vivaldi and J.S. Bach, along with their lesser known contemporaries Arcangelo Corelli, Giuseppe Torelli, Francesco Geminiani and Georg Phillip Telemann. “These musicians were all connected, and they influenced one another,” cellist Guy Fishman said. “Corelli was the dean of Italian music in the 17th century, and Torelli may have been his teacher. Telemann and Bach were good friends, and Vivaldi knew them all.”

The provenance of Fishman’s wondrous cello is Rome, 1704. “Corelli was living in Rome at the time, so he may have heard this very instrument,” he said.

Trumpet player Jesse Levine’s instrument is a replica of the natural trumpet. “The natural trumpet is just a tube,” he said. “There are no valves. It’s just me blowing into the end, and that’s about it. It’s much harder to negotiate than a modern trumpet.”

True to the Society’s mission, the ensemble, consisting of three violins, viola, cello, string bass, harpsichord and trumpet, took special pains to play in a style that would have been familiar to 17th- and early 18th-century audiences. “We unearth the performing techniques and artistic preferences that were prevalent in the Baroque Era,” Fishman said. “The composer had a sound in mind. We duplicate that sound.”

In this performance, the lushness of Baroque string sonority was on full display. The playing, by necessity muscular, was virtually vibrato free, and the resulting timbre more brittle than that of more polished modern instruments. As Fishman said, “period instruments take the conveniences of modern instruments away.”

Levine’s reading of Torelli’s trumpet sonata in D was a highlight of the evening. He made short work of a fiendishly difficult trumpet part. The muted, coppery sonority of his antique-style instrument did its job of working with the orchestra, rather than standing apart from it. He wove rhythmically brisk motives in and among the orchestral lines to create a vibrant, dense texture, filled with color. In his hands, the swift tempi appeared unhurried and elegant.

Concertmistress Susana Ogata’s emphatic, intense playing matched the dramatic nature of Bach’s much-loved Violin Concerto in A Minor. Her body language mimicked the lavish sweep of her bow. Her melodic lines shone out in high relief against the blend of the ensemble supporting her. She emphasized the visceral qualities of the short musical gestures within Bach’s long, spun-out textures, in an interpretation that was both personal and strongly stylized.

Fishman attacked Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto in G with ferocity. His technical mastery met at every turn the challenges of the composer’s sophisticated expressive style. His finger-work and bowing were arresting, and his percussive approach to rhythm and articulation jolted the listener. This was high-velocity playing at its best.

To conclude their performance, the ensemble surprised and delighted its capacity crowd with Johann Pachelbel’s ever-popular Canon and Gigue in D, played, not in the more familiar, romanticized version, but as originally intended by the composer. Playing it at a faster tempo, true to its dance-like character, it radiated vitality, bringing listeners to their feet in appreciation.

Upcoming on the Sanibel Music Festival’s series are “Singing Sondheim on Sanibel,” March 19, “Star-Crossed Lovers in Opera,” March 23, and the New York Brass Arts Trio, March 26. For tickets, go to www.sanibelmusicfestival.org.