Alexander Lubyantsev was back as the soloist, performing one of the most difficult piano concertos - Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.3, to a standing ovation. Like last week's concert, Lubyantsev was a study of concentration - staring at the piano with occasional glances at the conductor; and paying no attention to the audience. It was an amazing performance to watch, especially when his fingers were a blur racing across the keyboard. I haven't hear the full piece before - and it has an amazing combination of orchestra and piano - with both having starring roles. There were two encores - the first I didn't recognise (an etude perhaps) while the second was Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumble Bee, which is always amazing to see it performed live - simply because of the speed of the piece.
The first performance of the evening was Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, a piece I have heard many times before - especially in movies/TV series. The concert finished with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, to which the audience was warned that "it doesn't finish where you think it does", and that one should "wait for the more knowledgeable to first applaud".
Given the length of the pieces, the concert was a good 30 minutes longer than usual - which was fine, given today is a public holiday. The future of the JPO remains uncertain - hopefully it will survive; but the business rescue documents, unfortunately, do not give much hope.