Bernhard Gueller - Reviews

“I much enjoyed Gueller’s account of the last Brahms symphony, characterized by lushly measured tempi which gave full opportunity for winds to bloom. This was truly autumnal Brahms (particularly the Phrygian-themed Andante), with lovely attention to detail but guided throughout by an unfaltering sense of the final, magisterial goal.“   -Dvorak and Brahms w/ the Cape Town Philharmonic, THE CAPE TIMES, August 20, 2014

“Gueller’s characteristic dramatic gestures seemed to extend invisible threads to the orchestra’s performers, infecting them with vigour and even occasional smiles – which, in turn, appeared to energise Gueller even more... Bernhard Gueller’s passion, which was quite evidently an inspiration to the orchestra, also infected the audience, and throughout the Brahms piece there was never the sense of the audience tiring as sometimes happens at the end of an evening of long orchestral performances. Watching Gueller swing his baton was highly entertaining, especially during his little “jumps” when the musical score was particularly dramatic.“   - Dvorak Cello Concerto w/ Cape Town Philharmonic, WHAT‘S ON IN CAPE TOWN, August 18, 2014

“Gueller’s affinity for Brahms makes any time he conducts this composer’s music a revelation. In it, we heard references, not to the fields and flowers and the optimistic sunshine of the 19th century, but to it’s emotional underlay.“   - Brahms‘ Symphony No.2, Symphony Nova Scotia, THE CHRONICLE HERALD, May 3, 2013

“The orchestra, sensitive and intuitive as always under Gueller’s amazingly suggestive baton, distinguished itself by performing minor miracles of tonal and instrumental colour. From concert to concert they just get better and better. They are developing a warmth of colour and sound not often heard in small orchestras that do not have the players to layer up the quilts of sound in larger orchestras. They also are developing a uniquely intuitive artist’s palette where the pigments are all live and aware and independently creative as they mix and mingle under the brush of Geuller’s beat.“   - Symphony Nova Scotia, Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1, THE CHRONICLE-HERALD, January 25, 2013

Gueller has a genius for underlining the momentum of a phrase into a model of clarity and intelligibility... The programming concept of surrounding Beethoven’s rhythmic masterpiece with asymmetrical energy (Stravinsky) and serene, golden balance (Haydn). Gueller is masterful at this kind of musical gem-setting.   - Symphony Nova Scotia, Stravinsky, Beethoven & Haydn, The Chronicle Herald, November 23, 2012

"Gueller ... is a podium master. His skill and profound musicality enabled him to concentrate on how best to bring out Schumann's many elegant musical ideas and structures."   - Manuel de Falla, Wijeratne and Schumann concert, Symphony Nova Scotia, THE CHRONICLE HERALD, February 11, 2012

"It takes a Gueller...Listening to the final minutes of the finale was one of the most shattering experiences I have ever had at a symphony concert. It takes something rare to know and experience that excitement but to keep control of it at the same time, which is perhaps the ultimate skill of the performing artist...All in all, there could be no finer way to end the season."   - Symphony Nova Scotia, Sibelius Festival, The Chronicle Herald, May 3, 2011

"He draws enthusiastic, but precise playing, caressing every dynamic nuance in the score with the kind of precision and skill which allows each of these eight sketches in sound to make its mark: in turn piquant or charming to suit the character of each."   - Johannesburg Philharmonic, Music by Liadov, Tchaikovsky & Dvorak, Independent Online, March 11, 2011

"Symphony Nova Scotia's Bernhard Gueller has a way of going to the heart of the matter that compels attention. He knows how orchestral music works. He knows it on the surface level, the level of technical skill, a matter of instrumental balance and tempo that are indicated by way of gesture, and felt by way of artistic subtleties of weight and inflection. More than this, he understands musical drama and plot with intuitive certainty. Players under his guidance, knowing through the rehearsal process how he wants things to go, respond in performance to the most subtle hints of contour and colour."   - Symphony Nova Scotia, Open Waters Festival, The Chronicle Herald, January 8, 2011

"Symphony Nova Scotia opened its final concert of the 2009-10 season Sunday night in the Cohn with an explosive, brilliantly precise and marvellously exciting performance of Antonin Dvorak's colourful Carnival Overture...In the New World Symphony, the orchestra transcended themselves. Gueller's expansive pacing of the famous brass chorale of the introduction was visceral."   - Dvorak Festival, Symphony Nova Scotia, The Chronicle Herald, May 5, 2010

"[Gueller's] invention, along with his encyclopedic knowledge of the symphonic repertoire, is both remarkable and amazing...The orchestra responded to this music with the crisply alert, precisely refined playing that is one of the hallmarks of their style under Gueller's direction."   - Mozart, Prokofiev, Schubert, Symphony Nova Scotia, The Chronicle Herald , March 13, 2010

"Gueller has a fine conception of [Sibelius Symphony No. 2], and he did not fall into the frequent trap of taking the first movement too fast. His relaxed tempo and pulsing rhythms spoke eloquently of frozen evergreen forests..."   - Respighi, Victor Herbert, Sibelius, Buffalo Philharmonic, The Buffalo News, December 5, 2009

"Symphony Nova Scotia's Tchaikovsky Festival under Bernard Gueller's direction is that fresh look we have been longing for...Gueller and his players brought out every detail, often virtuosic in the extreme, especially at the tempos he dictated, but also filled with moments of poignancy and transparent sweetness. The music had a Shakespearean sweep modulated by exquisite poetry."   - Tchaikovsky Festival, James Ehnes, Symphony Nova Scotia, The Chronicle Herald, May 3, 2009