Night at the orchestra – Journal 24/2/2019

Last night I went to see Cork Concert Orchestra’s Mahler 5 concert in City Hall. I am a member of the orchestra, but sadly wasn’t able to take part in this concert due to college, work and personal commitments. It was strange sitting in the audience again – but what an absolute pleasure it was too. The concert was incredible – an astonishing performance by soloist Ioana Petcu playing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C# minor and Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64, and of course an impressive rendition of Gustav Maher’s Symphony No.5 by Cork Concert Orchestra themselves, under the conduction of David Brophy. I was not only taken away by the exceptional quality of the performance, and the music itself, but a good friend of mine led secound violins beautifully which added to my passionate enjoyment of the whole experience.

If you’re not into classical or orchestral music you’re probably thinking what the hell is this one rambling on about concertos and symphonies and all that. If you are into classical music, you probably know I’m holding back a little and only synopsising the experience. My love and appreciation for the beauty, importance and magnificence of classical music is a topic for another, much longer post.

I went to the concert with my Mum, and before it we went for dinner in a restaurant I had never been to but certainly hope to return to: ORSO, on Pembroke Street in Cork City. We both had the same main – falafel (the best I’ve ever had) displayed gorgeously on soft flatbread with sweet potato, a delicious sauce I do not know the name of, with slices of house pickle, carrot and something called dukkah (I had to google what this is – it’s a condiment consisting of a blend of herbs, spices and crushed nuts). It was exquisite – the kind of dish you eat slowly, to savour it, because it is that good. With our main we enjoyed a deliciously refreshing cocktail made up of gin, elderflower, lemon juice and Prosecco. For dessert we shared the chocolate board, or as I called it, chocolate lovers porn-on-a-plate (even though it was served, as the name suggests, on a very cool wooden board). There was a thick and velvety chocolate mouse toped with chilli flakes, a honey-comb chocolate brownie with a small dollop of cream and a raspberry compote, a baileys basket with what looked and tasted like whipped white chocolate topped with sliced strawberry, and last but not least a chocolate and peanut butter truffle incased in a chocolate coating. We enjoyed this accompanied by the obligatory after-meal Americano coffee. No, I did not take any pictures – I am not that level of blogger, yet.

Business card I picked up in ORSO – looks to be part of a small group of restaurants under the same owner(s).

I really needed a night like the one I had last night. When you’re going through a rough time, it is easy to retreat into yourself and push people away, or at least avoid being in company with anyone – and sometimes you need to do that, but not for too long. Let people be with you – you don’t need to talk if you don’t want to, even though that is a great thing to do if and when you can, with the right people – but even just surrounding yourself with the people that take you out of yourself for a while.. Call it a distraction if you like, because that is what it is, I guess, but distractions aren’t always a way of avoid something – sometimes, distractions serve as a way to ease the hurt, to ease the blow, of facing something. Allow yourself to hurt, and to be by yourself with that hurt when you feel you need to, but remember that you do not need to hurt alone all of the time.

Ciara D. 24/2/2019

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