WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Günter Wand Edition Part 2 - Bruckner, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert

Bruckner / Beethoven / Schubert / Brahms / Wand
Release Date: 03/21/2006 
Label:  Tdk   Catalog #: COWANDBOX2  
Composer:  Anton BrucknerLudwig van BeethovenFranz SchubertJohannes Brahms
Conductor:  Günter Wand
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 4 
This title is currently unavailable.



Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sound Format: PCM-Stereo
Picture Format: 16:9 (widescreen)
Subtitles: None
Region Code: 0 (all)
Running Time: 5 hours 22 minutes

R E V I E W S

3013800.zz8_GUNTER_WAND_EDITION

GÜNTER WAND EDITION, VOL. 2 ? Günter Wand, cond; North German RSO ? TDK COWANDBOX 2 (4 DVDs: 5:22:00)


BRUCKNER Symphonies: No. 4 in E?, ?Romantic?; No. 7 in E. SCHUBERT Symphonies: No. 5 in B?; No. 8 in b, ?Unfinished?; No. 9 in C, ?Great.? BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in c. BEETHOVEN Leonora Overture No. 3


Here is another excellent box from TDK featuring four concerts by the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra under Günter Wand (1912?2002), its principal conductor then conductor emeritus for the last 20 years of his life. As with Vol. 1, all concerts are from the Schleswig-Holstein music festival. Whereas Anton Bruckner?s Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 8, and 9 were the main attractions of the first volume, the second offers considerably more variety: the three most popular symphonies of Franz Schubert are featured, along with Bruckner?s two most popular symphonies and major works by Brahms and Beethoven. The venerable conductor?s approach to all these masterpieces is very much the same. A stickler for long and frequent rehearsals, Wand always made sure in advance of public performance that each player in his orchestra would know exactly how to play the music before him/her. Furthermore, Wand would always thoroughly prepare himself before rehearsals began. Paradoxically, the ideal he set for himself, and so splendidly achieved, was to remove all traces of the conductor?s personality from his performances, in favor of the character of the music itself. His chosen tempos, balances, accents, and dynamics all serve to make each composer sound his best. Each of the four DVDs in this box has its own individual packaging, and will no doubt be available as a single, so the rest of the review will consider them disc by disc.


Notes for all discs are, as in Vol. 1, by Wolfgang Seifert, a literary figure in his own right and a devoted biographer of Günter Wand. One may not agree with all the opinions expressed in Seifert?s essays, but they have the merit of vividly presenting Wand?s ideas on music.


COWAND5 presents a concert of June 24, 1990, in the Lübeck Cathedral. Wand chooses to play Beethoven?s Leonora Overture No. 3 with a somewhat reduced orchestra. The work may thereby gain in clarity in this space with its lingering echo; certainly there is no sacrifice of musical drama. The offstage trumpet is effective. The strings and winds are at full strength for the ?Romantic? Symphony of Anton Bruckner, in the 1878?1880 version as edited by Robert Haas. This is as fine a Bruckner Fourth as I have heard, completing a highly desirable disc. Picture format is 4:3; overall time is 87 minutes. As in all these discs, TDK?s timings include non-musical minutes and seconds before each performance, between movements, and during applause, bows, and credits. Beethoven?s Overture ?music only?takes about 14:15, and Bruckner?s Symphony takes 66:04, both typically moderate timings, neither unusually fast nor slow.


COWAND6 takes us to the Music and Congress Hall, Lübeck, for the concert of August 20, 1995, presented in 16:9 picture format. The program consists of Franz Schubert?s Eighth and Ninth Symphonies. Wand uses his full complement of strings, but unlike many conductors, uses only the number of winds and brass specified by Schubert: pairs of flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, trumpets, and horns, plus three trombones. This produces a somewhat darker sonority when compared to performances with extra wind and brass. Wand repeats the exposition of the first movement of the ?Unfinished? Symphony, but does not observe exposition repeats in the first and last movement of the Ninth. It should be noted that a different performance of the ?Unfinished? is included in TDK?s Wand Edition Vol. 1 and the single release COWAND4. Conductor, orchestra, and concert hall are the same, but the performance is from the 2000 festival and the Schubert is paired with Bruckner?s Ninth Symphony in a concert of unfinished symphonies.


COWAND7 finds us in the city of Kiel, a seaport very near Denmark, for a concert of August 24, 1997, in the Kieler Schloss?evidently a municipal auditorium of rather utilitarian design and fine acoustics. Once more, the picture is in 16:9 format. Wand directs a reduced orchestra in Schubert?s charming Fifth Symphony. He repeats the exposition in the first movement, and reminds us in his searching reading of the Andante and Menuetto that this mostly genial symphony has some arrestingly dark contrasts along the way. The NDR SO is again at full strength for the potently dramatic First Symphony of Johannes Brahms. A powerful realization of its finale brings the sold-out audience to its feet. The movement is all the more effective because Wand has refrained from letting out all the stops in the first movement.


COWAND8 returns us to the Music and Congress Hall, Lübeck, for the concert of August 28, 1999, viewed in the traditional 4:3 picture frame. We hear a single work, the Seventh Symphony of Anton Bruckner. As usual, Wand chooses the Robert Haas edition, so you will hear no triangle, timpani, or cymbals at the climax of the Adagio, the high point of the entire symphony. If you can do without the extra excitement supplied by the percussion during these fortissimo measures, you should find this an eminently satisfying version, by turns lyrical, elevated, profound, tragic, and?such is the contrast between the first two movements of this remarkable symphony and the shorter and brisker last two?vigorous and playful.


FANFARE: Robert McColley
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 4 in E flat major, WAB 104 "Romantic" by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Günter Wand
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Symphony no 7 in E major, WAB 107 by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Günter Wand
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881-1883; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Leonore Overture no 3 in C major, Op. 72a by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Günter Wand
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Symphony no 8 in B minor, D 759 "Unfinished" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Günter Wand
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Symphony no 9 in C major, D 944 "Great" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Günter Wand
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1825-28; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Günter Wand
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855-1876; Austria 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title