Despite his straightforward conducting technique, Wand was capable of generating an often surprisingly intense level of performance, frequently based on exhaustive and highly detailed preparation. A great admirer of Furtwängler, Wand achieved in his interpretations a scrupulous balance between stylistic fidelity and subjective insight. For many people he was the last of the great German conductors active during the 20th century.
"Bruckner's incomplete Ninth was conducted during [Wand's] final concerts at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in the summer of 2001, only months before his death. If anyone is able to breathe during the last five minutes of the Ninth, that is certainly only because of an unconscious need to do so. The final moments of the Adagio are truly magical, and one can see the music's profound ethos reflected in the octogenarian conductor's eyes…. The pairing of Bruckner's Ninth with Schubert's 'Unfinished' [is] a combination that Wand favored at the end of his career. In their sharp juxtaposition the two works achieve a synergy that brings their incompleteness to a new interpretative level."—Notes