Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Bild 129 KarajanGeorg Wübbolt: What did Karajan like about Tennstedt?

Peter Alward: He was an old-school kapellmeister! That is something that Karajan also recognized. The first meeting in Karajan's suite at the Kempinski – I was only there for the first half hour – they sat there until three in the morning, laughing and drinking and telling stories.                      Herbert von Karajan 

And Klaus? 

Peter Alward: Klaus was extremely nervous before this meeting. He was in a panic. When I told him that Herr Karajan would like to get to know him, he was excited: “Yes, why?” I said: “We would also like to record with you in Berlin. He heard your Mahler First and he wants to know what kind of person you are.” Klaus was extremely agitated, but as I said, the two of them liked ea02 Wuebbolt Tennstedt Cover Ebook Web ENch other straight away. Karajan, for example, has often let him take over the podium of his Berlin Philharmonic. And we at EMI were allowed to record what we wanted. Klaus came to Berlin more often than many other conductors. He passed the test. Karajan would have recognized an impostor immediately. And he saw in Klaus what he might have liked to be himself.

Tennstedt has given at least 25 concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Peter Alward: Karajan even said he could imagine Klaus as his successor. How honestly he meant that is an open question. He gave him more opportunities with the orchestra than anyone could have dreamed of. But if Tennstedt had been elected head of Berlin, it would have been the death of him. He just didn't have the strength, physically or mentally, to fill that post, never. When Karajan died in 1989 Tennstedt was already seriously ill with cancer. But he was certainly pleased that his name was even mentioned.

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