The final concert of the 1st Season started with Johan Strauss II's Overture to Die Fledermaus - a very popular piece, given the number of times I have heard it on radio. Like many of Straus' compositions (i.e. waltzes), the piece is fun and lively - a great way to start the concert.
For me, Bruch's Concerto for 2 Pianos was the most anticipated piece of the season - not because I had heard it before; just the spectacle. The soloists were Bulgarian duo Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov rounded up the full Bulgarian quota of visitors with conductor Martin Panteleev returning to the podium for the concert. The concerto itself was strange - it starts of, with the pianos imposing themselves, but then retreats in support for much of the concert; before returning with much pomp in the final movement. The concerto was very well recieved, and the duo obliged with three encores - certainly a record for the JPO concerts I have attended.
I did not particularly enjoy Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony - but I am not completely sure why. Perhaps it was because it is quite a long symphony (this was the full hour performance), that sometimes feels like it never ends - or perhaps it was because I was just tired after a long day.
The 2nd JPO season will start on 7 May, and start off with Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto - that should get a good crowd in for the night!