Finale – Adagio lamentoso

And there he sat on his balcony in Heikendorf, seriously ill with cancer, soaking up the much-loved view over the Bay of Kiel and far out across the Baltic. He had passed on something to the world, but would the world remember him? All his life he had chased the ideal performance, sought those rare moments. Would his name remain? As ever, he was uncertain.

A few days before Christmas 1997, a good three weeks before his death, his old friend from Radebeul and Schwerin Dieter Härtwig visited him.

Together they planned a Mahler symphony with the Dresden Philharmonic – the Sixth, his favorite. Never stop hoping. They recalled past productions: "Remember The School for Wives? That was unbelievable. And even more so Mahagonny, where you first sold program booklets at the door and then leapt over the balustrade to give the opening beat. Remember?”

Dieter Härtwig: He was mostly confined to bed, but could still crawl out and he took me into a big room. There were his certificates hanging all over the walls. That was a side of him I didn't know at all. Like a museum guide, he led me through this room and explained every little thing, all these awards, the honorary doctorates, my goodness. And then I thought of Masur again: You didn't achieve that much! There ‘Tenno’ was  ahead again. With a real sense of pleasure he showed me a large picture with the English heir to the throne, Prince Charles; that blew me away, because I thought, this can't be true.This can't be true.  

I remember that glimpse of Tennstedt, and then how, barely able to walk, he proudly showed me around. And the view of the Baltic Sea [holding his hands in front of his mouth as if in disbelief].

Princess Diana and Prince Charles

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