London Philharmonic Orchestra

London, that cosmopolitan city, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) soon became the highlights of Tennstedt's life in every respect. Everything was made easy for him. He and the musicians seemed to enjoy an endless honeymoon. Many such relationships deteriorate over time until those involved can no longer tolerate each other. In London, however, they remained on the very warmest of terms. He had no problem in getting his own way, never needed to put his foot down about anything. His path was smoothed, he was made as comfortable as possible. Audiences stamped their feet in appreciation. Concerts sold out early. Before long his performances became irretrievable celebrations. When he was ill they longed for a speedy recovery, fearing he might not return at all.

Rachel Masters, harp, LPO: This man was so unusual, ego, but in the right way, musicality, soul, just absolutely great. I've done so many Mahler symphonies now, but he was the only one [makes a sweeping gesture], who understood the journey of the music.

John Willan, Producer & Manager: I would never even touch a Muti, tap him on the shoulder and say, "Hello Riccardo!" but with Klaus you could. And Klaus was no less a musician.02 Wuebbolt Tennstedt Cover Ebook Web EN

Judy Grahame, LPO PR: He was not people's idea of what a maestro should look like. He wasn't as cultured as Muti or Karajan; those you look at and think, this is a great conductor, but with Klaus: If you were in a room of 50 people and Klaus was sitting somewhere, you wouldn't know that this was a great man.

Laurie Lovelle, double bass, LPO: To me, he was like a bird of prey hovering in the air. He encompassed the whole orchestra like this [opens arms wide]. And the performances were just epic. And he had such a presence! He didn't talk a lot. Usually he only needed half a rehearsal.

He would say [imitates German accent and croaky voice] "I vant you to gif me one hundred percent, zen you can go home" [laughs]. Everybody was really sad when he became ill. It would never be repeated, that situation, the golden days. Those were the golden days!

More about this in the book: exciting details about his greatest successes, world tours, recordings and - cancellations due to illness.

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