Günter Wand

Biography

Born: January 7, 1912; Elberfeld, Germany   Died: February 14, 2002; Ulmiz, Switzerland  
Conductor Günter Wand was one of a handful of musicians who were working before World War II and whose career remained viable at the end of the twentieth century. In contrast to the best known of his peers, Sir Georg Solti and Rafael Kubelik, he was the opposite of the jetset, international conductor, and limited the number and scope of his engagements, primarily in Europe. Although Wand composed a small number of works, including ballet music, Read more orchestral songs, and one cantata, he was known by most listeners as a conductor. His performances were noted for their precise attention to detail and special care in matters of stylistic propriety.

Wand studied at the Cologne Conservatory, initially as a composition and piano student. His conducting technique was almost entirely self-taught. He began his career in Wuppertal and Allenstein as a repetiteur and conductor, and was later made chief conductor in Detmold. In 1939, he was appointed a conductor, and subsequently first conductor, with the Cologne Opera, where he remained until the opera house was destroyed by Allied bombing raids in 1944. He then became conductor of the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra for the remainder of the war, until April 1945. With the end of fighting, he returned to Cologne to begin reconstructing the city's musical life, first as music director of the Cologne Opera, where he remained for three years (1945-1948), and as director of concerts, initially a 10-year appointment that was later extended for life. He taught music in the city, and became a professor at the Hochschule für Musik in 1948. He also became head of the Gürzenich Orchestra, a post he held until 1974.

Wand began making appearances as a guest conductor throughout Europe during the early 1950s, including his British debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1951. His guest appearances included concerts in the Soviet Union and Japan. His professional life, however, remained centered in Cologne, where he was at the center of the revived city's musical life. In addition to his performances of the mainstream German-Austrian repertory -- Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Bruckner -- he was a major advocate of the works of such contemporary composers as Ligeti, Varèse, and Zimmermann, and recorded the music of Frank Martin and Anton Webern.

Wand resigned his Cologne positions in 1974 and moved to Switzerland, where he became a regular guest conductor of the Berne Symphony Orchestra. After 1974, he began working more closely with the various broadcast orchestras in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, and was also hailed for his performances of the operas of Mozart and Verdi. Wand recorded exclusively for RCA/BMG, including all of Bruckner's symphonies -- a major feat at the time -- with the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as Schubert's extant eight symphonies; and he later recorded the Schubert symphonies with the NDR symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic. From 1982 until 1991, he also took over the post of music director of the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg. Among his recordings are the complete Brahms and Beethoven symphonies. These recordings have attracted a substantial international following, acclaimed for their attention to the details of the written score and the spirituality of the playing. Read less

There are 84 Günter Wand recordings available.

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Formats & Featured

Biography

Born: January 7, 1912; Elberfeld, Germany   Died: February 14, 2002; Ulmiz, Switzerland  
Conductor Günter Wand was one of a handful of musicians who were working before World War II and whose career remained viable at the end of the twentieth century. In contrast to the best known of his peers, Sir Georg Solti and Rafael Kubelik, he was the opposite of the jetset, international conductor, and limited the number and scope of his engagements, primarily in Europe. Although Wand composed a small number of works, including ballet music, Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro
II. Andante sostenuto
III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso
IV. Adagio - Piu andante - Allegro non troppo ma con brio
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Adagio non troppo - L'istesso tempo, ma grazioso
III. Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino) - Presto ma non assai
IV. Allegro con spirito
I. Allegro con brio - Un poco sostenuto
II. Andante
III. Poco allegretto
IV. Allegro - Un poco sostenuto
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante moderato
III. Allegro giocoso - Poco meno presto
IV. Allegro energico e passionato - Piu allegro
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Adagio
III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace
I. Allegro affettuoso
II. Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso
III. Allegro vivace
I. Molto allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuetto: Allegretto - Trio
IV. Allegro assai
Te Deum laudamus: Feierlich - Breit
Judex crederis: Gemessen
Aeterna fac: Langsam
O dignare, Domine: Sehr langsam
I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito
II. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I
III. Allegro con fuoco
Promenade
I. The Gnome
Promenade
II. The Old Castle
Promenade
III. Tuileries
IV. Bydlo
Promenade
V. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks
VI. Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle
VII. The Market Place at Limoges
VIII. Catacombae: Sepulchrum romanum
Cum mortuis in lingua mortua
IX. The Hut on Fowl's Legs (Baba-Yaga)
X. The Great Gate of Kiev
I. Einleitung: Allegretto con fuoco
II. Thema
III. Moderato
IV. Gemessen
V. Mit Breite, doch nicht langsam und etwas frei
VI. Andante
VII. Ruhig
VIII. Sehr schnell
IX. Lebhaft, sehr schnell
X. Lebhaft
XI. Moderato
XII. Breit und wuchtig
XIII. Finale: Lebhaft
I. Allegro
II. Romanze
III. Allegro
I. Maestoso
II. Adagio: sehr feierlich
III. Scherzo: Nicht schnell - Trio: Langsam
IV. Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
I. Andante - Allegro ma non troppo
II. Andante con moto
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Allegro vivace


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