The newly formed collaboration between the the JPO and the KZNPO got off to a great start with a joint concert featuring both orchestras; in a fairly packed Linder Auditorium (and the stage was pretty packed also). After some short speeches, Junnan Sun, the principal clarinetist of the KZNPO, regaled the audience with a masterful performance of the Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. It was a pleasant change in concerto instruments (given that most performances usually showcase the violin or the piano); and it was a great showcase of collaboration.
After the break, the full orchestras were used to show case Mahler's Symphony No 5 - a symphony that would be otherwise quite difficult for either orchestra to perform on their own; and the sound of such a large orchestra was in itself amazing. I had not heard the symphony in its entirety before; and I absolutely loved the first 4 movements - each with its own emotion/tone; something akin to a tale being told. The famous 4th movement was amazing, and certainly a performance to remember. And after those movements, the final movement was disappointing - overly dramatic, and felt very different to the rest - but at least there was the 4th to savour over.