In the decades that Herbert von Karajan bestrode Berlin, Salzburg and the music industry, he could always be assured of a warm review from Klaus Geitel, who has died at the age of 92.
And not just a newspaper review and broadcast effusion. Geitel often wrote Karajan’s record blurbs. He published a fawning iconography of the image-obsessed conductor and was hostile only to those who dared to suggest that his idol might be infallible. Even in the old man’s half-crazed final showdown with the Berlin Philharmonic, he unerringly saw the world through Karajan’s eyes.
Although he called himself a journalist, Geitel belonged to an old-world genre of stage-door Johnnies and cocktail-hour hangers-on who were happiest when posing for camera with their idols.
He was, equally old-world, unfailingly polite to sceptics like myself. May he rest in peace.