"The Boston Symphony Orchestra has appointed German Moritz Gnann as the orchestra's new assistant conductor beginning with the 2015-16 season for a two-year term." Boston Symphony Press release
"Gnann has worked with BSO music director Andris Nelsons at the Bayreuth Festival, where he assisted on a new production of "Lohengrin." He has also collaborated with conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, and Christian Thielemann. Gnann, who studied orchestral conducting at the Berlin University of the Arts and at the Dresden School of Music, will make his first podium appearance with the BSO during the 2016 Tanglewood season. " Boston Globe
The concluding work, Mahler's youthful first symphony, was where Gnann's interpretative talents and energy shone. (..) From the first bars, where Gnann had urged the orchestra in rehearsal the day before to play the opening dominant A pitch as softly as possible, there was promise that this performance might be special. It was that and more.
(..) As the work progressed, Gnann's attention to detail became apparent. He masterfully weaved the threads of Mahler's music, allowing parts rarely heard clearly, such as those from the harp and bass drum, albeit played softly, to contribute to the sonority. (..)
Movement two begins with a peasant-like Austrian Ländler. A trio in F follows it. In a lifetime of listening to Mahler performances, I've never heard it played more beautifully or sound more Austrian. (..)
The final climax called for the brass players to deplete their reserves, playing as loudly as they could (..)
That the conductor and players had modulated their sound beautifully throughout the work made the final, boisterous climax much more effective. It was a fantastic ending to a rousing performance and the audience recalled the young conductor to the stage thrice. Gnann is an animated conductor and he was spent by the symphony's end, as were his players. It was a triumphant exhaustion that reminded one of Mahler's assessment that a symphony "must be like the world.
Boston Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Moritz Gnann made his Symphony Hall debut Tuesday with an enticing program of Romantic music: Mendelssohn's "Hebrides" Overture, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27 (K. 595), and Dvorák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World." It was a night to remember (...)
The "Hebrides" Overture (Mendelssohn also called it "Fingal's Cave") was inspired by the composer's 1829 visit to a cave of basalt columns on the Inner Hebrides isle of Staffa. Under Gnann's baton, the tranquil opening phrase was the calm before the storm; there was thunder and lightning to follow, but also frolicking sea birds, before the tempest blew itself out. (...)
After intermission, Gnann offered a distinctive reading of the Dvorák.(...) Gnann let it all unfurl without pushing too hard. The first movement (whose exposition repeat he omitted) was full of contrasts, with a tender second theme and dramatic climaxes. The conclusion was ferocious, but all the more transparent for not being whipped into a frenzy. (...)
He saved the best for last: The dirge-like coda built very slowly, creating suspense, and the climax didn't explode so much as bloom.
Throughout the performance, Gnann made you stop, think, and reconsider. No small achievement in such a familiar symphony.