Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony variations which were more than that when played by a high school orchestra that had been in the open air for two hours and then told to 'just play the piece, no warmup please'. We had tuned while it was still warm, evening cool had set in. The sound of the G-strings all approximating a unison by an interval and a half has lingered in my mind for decades.
Ives would have loved it.
Oh my! For years I tried to rid myself of the memory of the finale of the Brahms First Symphony
as played by a suburban orchestra of well-meaning amateurs and high school students. For some reason the local classical radio station broadcast the concert - possibly trying to spread appreciation of amateur attempts in classical music - complete with the strings (especially the cellos) at times so awry that it was difficult to know exactly what they were playing!
I recall turning the concert on about a minute or two into the final movement, wondering "What is this?" and thinking that it might be the Brahms
...but I could not be sure for a while!
I once knew a German who refused to listen to "Profis
" play classical music: he went only
to amateur concerts! He subscribed to the Romantic notion that money sullied the music, and only the pure amateur, the innocent representative of das Volk
, could properly play classical music.