After almost a year of financial turmoil, the JPO did get new funding from the Lotteries board, which has allowed it to get back on its feet. The funding does not solve the JPO's debt problem - but at least it gives an opportunity to get back to a functioning organisation.
Given the time of the year, the JPO has sensibly decided to put on a proper symphony season in October. In the meantime, there are a few one off shows - with the Tchaikovsky Celebration being one of them; and the only one that just features the JPO.
The program started with Capriccio Italien, which is described in the program as ".. the Russian has written us a postcard from Italy". It is a fairly long piece - more of a letter than a postcard - with quite a few easily identifiable Italian themes, but still a piece that one could identify as being a Tchaikovsky piece.
Pallavi Mahidhara returned to play with the JPO once again, this time Piano Concerto 1, one of my favourites. It is quite interesting (and sometimes amusing) to see how different soloists behave during the orchestral only parts of the performances. Some stare into the crowd, some into their instrument - but Pallavi is one of the rare soloists I have seen that just close their eyes and sway to the music; as if playing along with the orchestra in their heads - and seemingly just in time, open their eyes, nod at the conductor and carry on!
The Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture after the break, felt too long for an overture - and more of a summary of the whole story instead of an opening introduction to the story. It seems from Wikipedia, that it is supposed to cover the whole play - but it did feel weird when listening to it - to go from peace, to fun, to sadness and finally the dramatic end - but at the same time, unlike many other pieces, it did capture the essence of the story so well.
The 1812 Overture, finished off the evening. It is a very popular piece, and this is the first time I have heard it live. It is famous for its boisterous ending, but it is great piece throughout; and was superbly timed and played by the orchestra and conductor Robert Maxym.
All in all, one of the most enjoyable JPO concerts I have been to.