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One of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, von Karajan ruled over the Berlin Philharmonic and European classical music for more than three decades. Celebrated for his recordings of Beethoven, Mozart and Mahler symphonies, he sold some 200 million albums.
In 1938, for his performance of 'Tristan und Isolde', von Karajan was hailed by a Berlin critic as 'Das Wunder Karajan' (the Karajan miracle). The critic asserted that von Karajan's 'success with Wagner's demanding work...sets himself alongside Furtwängler and Victor de Sabata, the greatest opera conductors in Germany at the present time'.
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