First off, thanks a lot for sharing that! I really enjoyed it! To explain the association, perhaps you remember that I used to play second violin in an amateur orchestra “back home”. But I was never, ever this good! That smiling soloist kid with the keffiya around his neck was frickin’ brilliant!
We used to do mostly holiday shows, so yeah, I’m very familiar with these pieces. I know Beethoven’s 1st, 2nd, 5th and 9th symphonies quite well, Pachelbel’s Canon of course which gets boring after a while, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for sure, Handel’s Messiah, the typical stuff. I’m sure we did some Mozart and Bach but it was so long ago that I don’t remember which pieces exactly. We once did Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, which was fun!
Here’s the thing: I HATED practicing my violin in those days, because tuning the damn thing to the right pitch was always a struggle for me! I liked to play, but I hated to tune, and a violin has to be tuned before every sitting! Nothing in my youth was more frustrating than spending 20 minutes tightening 4 damn metal strings across a bridge, only to have them relax again shortly afterwards when wood slipped against wood! Aargh! Damn it!
It was only years later, when I was in America, that I discovered digital tuners for guitars and violins. That was huge and made things so much easier for me, and my play improved tremendously within a short time, and practicing finally became fun instead of a tough slog. But it was years too late for my amateur orchestra days, which I remember with a humbling dose of embarrassment! Trust me, I was doing a whole lotta faking in those days, just to meet schedules and avoid catastrophe!
Oh, and by the way, I also played the piano, but that was a far more private affair! Again, not nearly as well as I could have if I took it more seriously at the time. But alas, as the saying goes, “Youth is wasted on the young!” :)