Wihan Quartet ‘exceptional’ in Oxford

Wihan Quartet ‘exceptional’ in Oxford

Wihan Quartet

The Wihan Quartet‘s recent recital at Oxford’s Holywell Music Room was received with great enthusiasm. Oxford Chamber Music Society Chair John Dunston contacted Tashmina Artists to express his delight and reflect on their performance:

“We were delighted to welcome the Wihan Quartet back to Oxford and the Holywell Music Room … You will have sensed, as I am sure the quartet did, the enthusiasm with which the audience responded to this exceptional recital. Indeed, for a Holywell Music Room audience to be not only energetic in their applause, but positively vociferous and even percussive in expressing their delight was something rather special, and well deserved!

The programme devised by the quartet was inspired, leading us during the afternoon from the dark, dramatic tension of The Kreutzer Sonata, through the joyously captivating rhythms and melodies of the Dvořák, to the deeply personal, emotional outpouring of Smetana’s From my life.

If our musical experience had already been so enriching in the first half, we could hardly have expected the impassioned and at poignantly touching rollercoaster that was to follow, right from that explosive opening chord with which the players summoned us back after the interval.

“Throughout the recital, we were spellbound, not only by their virtuosity (almost taken for granted) but by the astonishing clarity of their ensemble, perfectly balanced, accompanying motifs quietly supportive of the melodic phrases whichever instrument was singing them at any moment.”

Indeed, this was complemented by the evident enjoyment shown so often by the individual players, and their total immersion in the musical narratives that moved us all through the range of emotions the programme laid bare before us, now delight, now desperate sadness, now sparkling, impish humour. Please thank them for that sweet encore too – a lovely way to end.

“We can be in no doubt that Hanus Wihan, who I have learned was the cellist and spiritus rector of the Bohemian Quartet, would have been immensely proud of the ensemble that bears his name, giving us such an unforgettable recital of Czech music on Sunday.”

Our thanks to them all. We hope they will come back, and meanwhile wish them a successful, triumphant fortieth anniversary year in 2025.”

See also