Herbert Gietzen is a conductor with many years of international concert and opera experience. His style is characterized by an aesthetic reminiscent of that of his mentor, Herbert von Karajan: flowing, elegant, yet precise movements that represent the expressive content of the music and convey its expression both to the orchestra and the audience, yet avoid any superficial show effects. In this sense, he represents the classic Kapellmeister tradition.
Herbert Gietzen has also felt a strong affinity for composition since his earliest youth, and thus brings a composer's viewpoint to the works he interperets. His analytic ability to understand musical structures both large and small, combined with perfect pitch, have predestined him to be a conductor of contemporary music. These same abilities also make it possible for him to substitute, even in works previously unknown to him, on very short notice, and enable him to conduct even complex scores, such as Bartók's "Concerto for Orchestra" and even entire operas, from memory.
The chief characteristics of his interpretive style, influenced by his analytically-schooled inner ear and executed through his specific conducting technique, may be described as follows: a sound that captivates by its sensuousness, yet always remains transparent; a rhythmic precision that is never stiff, but always retains a living pulse; and a dramatic impetus that rouses both performers and audience alike.
0:00: R. Strauss - Rosenkavalier-Walzer
3:15: Mozart - Sinfonie in g-Moll
5:10: Ravel - La Valse
8:40: Rimski-Korsakoff - Scheherazade
Herbert Gietzen has accumulated an unusually large repertoire that encompasses nearly all styles and periods. He has conducted over 100 operas and operettas and a large proportion of the standard symphonic literature. His long experience in the opera house, combined with his great sensitivity, shows especially when he is accompanying singers and intstrumental soloists. He has also developed a special feel for anticipating and resolving musically critical situations in advance.
Finally, he is an ambitious teacher. Working with highly-motivated young musicians in non-professional orchestras is something he enjoys and which means a great deal to him. He also understands how to improve the love and understanding of music in young people in the context of discussions and youth concerts.
In addition to his work as a conductor Herbert Gietzen translated the operas JUANA LA LOCA and MARIA GOLOVIN by Gian Carlo Menotti as well as A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE by André Previn.
Recently Herbert Gietzen has been concentrating on the long neglected composition of music. In his works, which are without exception rather short, a personal style is not developed. A polystylistic character is the more common feature used. The borderline between composition and arrangement is often ambiguous within the single pieces.
With his parodic mini-opera OPERA ULTIMATIVA, lavishly produced by the Giessen Opera, he landed a sort of a hit.