Joshua Bell and friends brought their brief residency at Wigmore Hallto a fiery finale with impassioned performances of Smetana and Dvořák. These chamber pieces became virtuoso vehicles in the hands of the five musicians, with the dialogic nature of the repertoire prompting the players to spur one another on. The first half of the programme may not have been up to the same high standard, but this was still a successful and memorable collaboration.
Just a few weeks after the announcement that Oxford would be hosting the UK’s first major Stradivari exhibition this June, Maxim Vengerov gave a phenomenal performance on one of the Italian craftsman’s instruments. Performing on the ex-Kreutzer instrument made in 1727, Vengerov’s performance with the Oxford Philomusica was unforgettable.