…In his late years, Wand restricted his repertoire almost exclusively to the symphonies of Anton Bruckner (which he had never conducted until he was over 60), Schubert, Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart. Wand regarded Bruckner as the "most important symphonist after Beethoven". Wand's biographer Wolfgang Seifert believes that "it is no exaggeration to say that Günter Wand has made an indispensable contribution toward the understanding of Bruckner in our time."
…got this for the Brahms, which is at best a thoroughly decent performance, nothing more - but the highlight is the excellent Beethoven. The ratings reflect the dichotomy of the two performances and their sonics, an average of 4 for sound seems fair - but the Beethoven warrants a 5 for performance.
…The strong point in each case is the sound from MDG, which reveals the complex orchestration and what might be called the inner life of each work. Part of a full cycle of Shostakovich symphonies from conductor Roman Kofman, this disc merits strong consideration, especially for audiophile buyers.
Few conductors have made a greater contribution to our present-day understanding of Bruckner than Günter Wand (1912-2002).
This first box includes Bruckner symphonies nos. 5, 6 and 8 in their original or restored versions as well as an elegant, but rarely performed Haydn Symphony and the "Unfinished" symphonies by Bruckner and Schubert. Later, TDK released the second box of 4 DVDs including the popular Bruckner Symphonies Nos. 4 and 7 and symphonic works by Brahms and Schubert.
Editorial Reviews- Amazon.com
Noted podium tyrant and sadist Fritz Reiner must have scared the daylights out of the Royal Philharmonic, which plays this music as though their very lives depended on it. This is one of the great Brahms Fourth Symphonies, a performance of eruptive force and barely contained fury. It's been superbly transferred to CD, and anyone who loves this symphony simply has to own this recording. No question about it. –David Hurwitz