Wand, like his contemporary Tennstedt was a late entrant to the international scene having honed his craft in provincial German opera houses for the best part of 50 years.
His trademark was the attention to detail that her gave every work he conducted and this certainly shows in these recordings made between 1980 and 1994 with the two orchestras he was most closely associated with.
This huge box set contains the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Bruckner, Brahms and Schubert together with works Tchaikovsky 5 & 6, Mozart 39 – 41 and Schumann 3 & 4. There are also works by Stravinsky, Webern and Martin and a DVD includes his last full interview which provides fascinating viewing.
I have to say that I have been hooked on these performances from opening the box and I can’t recommend them more highly, Wand sets brisk tempos in the entire repertoire but they work very well and give a sense of urgency and drama that are similar to Carlos Kleiber’s famous Beethoven 5 and Brahms 4. In fact I have to say that I have never heard Brahms First Symphony sound like passages from Das Rheingold and you will just have to get the set to hear what I mean.
If you are building a collection then don’t hesitate to get this set for I’m sure it won’t be around for long and as CD sales drop it may never be available in hard copy again.
A real gem and at around a dollar a disc a bargain.
The Great Recordings
Kolner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchestra / NDR Sinfonieorchester
RCA Red Seal 86919 11552
(22CDs and 1 DVD)