The "Quell'n" restaurant in Wackersberg was popular with locals and guests for decades. This photograph was taken in 1929 and Toni Klee and his wife Liesl were the innkeepers from 1964 until the end of the 1980s. © Archive
Many greats of folk music have come to him and made music with him: Toni Klee had a name that reached far beyond the district as the landlord of the "Quell'n" on the Sauersberg and as a musician. At the age of 90, the exceptional talent on the zither has now died.
Sachsenkam/Wackersberg – "I'm never going on tour," he said a little wistfully when the Tölzer Kurier visited him on his 85th birthday and made a portrait of him. The fingers just didn't really want to join in anymore to "spun" on one of his ten zithers. But he and his wife Lisl were pleased that the Quell'n innkeepers of yesteryear were remembered.
A life dedicated to music: Toni Klee on the zither. © .cs
The Quell'n-Wirtschaft on the Sauersberg, where today only an ugly ruined building remains, was one of the best addresses for good food and live music for a quarter of a century from 1964. The crème de la crème of Bavarian folk music was a guest: the Well brothers, Kraudn-Sepp and Beni Ostler, for example. Klee had gained a great reputation not only as an innkeeper, but also as a musician. For example, as a member of the Arzbacher Dreigesang with the Probstbauern-Bärbel and the Kloiber-Martl as well as with the folk music group Dreer.
Production with Sigi Schwab
His versatility and exceptional skills are confirmed by top musicians such as Sigi Schwab. Five years ago, the guitarist told the anecdote of how fascinated, for example, the principal violist of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and Sergiu Celibidache protégé Enrique Santiago had been by the performance of Toni Klee and his fellow players in the "Quell'n Trio". Schwab, who was musically more at home in the rock and jazz scene, produced the famous folk music record "Birnbaam und Hollerstaudn" with Klee, Willi Scheuerer and Bertl Gottfried because, as he said, "this music must be documented for eternity".
Klee Toni, as he was called, was not a native of Isarwinkl, but a native of Freising. The trained carpenter came to the Isarwinkel for the first time in the 1950s to supply the Kirchstein hut in the Längental valley as a porter in winter. During this time, the mountain and nature lover also got to know his Lisl am Wallberg.
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Deceased surrounded by family
"With eahm it was just a great life," wife Lisl simply and sadly sums up her almost 65-year marriage to the "humorous and balanced Toni". November would have been the Iron Wedding. But Lisl Klee does have one consolation. Her husband had not been on good physical terms lately and had to go to the hospital. She was able to fulfill his last wish and take him home. After two weeks, which he was allowed to spend very consciously with his family, he fell asleep peacefully. He is survived by his wife, two children, eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
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Artist Sabrina Hohmann (left) was the last tenant of the house before the owner began converting it into holiday apartments. In 2013, Hohmann saw it as a matter of the heart to let the building, which was built in 1863 by Jodquellen AG as a brewhouse and later used as an inn, "sound" again on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. Of course, Toni Klee (center) and his wife Lisl were also there. © Demmel / Archive
Funeral on May 31
And he was not and is not forgotten, says Lisl Klee happily. An obituary for the great folk musician could be heard on the radio. And "all the way out of the Bavarian Forest ham s' mi call and condolences". The funeral service followed by the burial of urns took place on Wednesday, May 31, at 10 a.m. in Sachsenkam.
You can find even more up-to-date news from the region at Merkur.de/Bad Tölz.