Music: Eroica

The pleasant tuning-up hum of the Philharmonia Orchestra faded away and a hush fell over London's Royal Festival Hall. A tall, slightly stooped figure in a frock coat emerged from behind a yellow curtain. Feet dragging, he made his way to the podium with the help of a heavy walking stick. As the applause thundered down, the man's solemn, craggy face remained expressionless and unseeing as a blind man's. Otto Klemperer, 72, painfully mounted the podium, planted his feet firmly apart, and gave the downbeat for Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. It was the climactic moment of a current London Beethoven cycle, and...

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