Gustav Mahler

Biography

Born: July 7, 1860; Czech Republic   Died: May 18, 1911; Austria   Period: Romantic
"Imagine the universe beginning to sing and resound," Mahler wrote of his Symphony No. 8, the "Symphony of a Thousand." "It is no longer human voices; it is planets and suns revolving." Mahler was late Romantic music's ultimate big thinker. In his own lifetime he was generally regarded as a conductor who composed on the side, producing huge, bizarre symphonies accepted only by a cult following.

Born in 1860, in Kalischt, Bohemia, he came Read more from a middle-class family. He entered the Vienna Conservatory in 1875, studying piano, harmony, and composition in a musically conservative atmosphere. Nevertheless, he became a supporter of Wagner and Bruckner, both of whose works he would later conduct frequently, and became part of a social circle interested in socialism, Nietzschean philosophy, and pan-Germanism. Around 1880, he began conducting and wrote his first mature work, Das klagende Lied. Mahler's conducting career advanced rapidly, moving him from Kassel to Prague to Leipzig to Budapest; he was usually either greatly respected or thoroughly despised by the performers for his exacting rehearsals and perfectionism. In 1897 he became music director of the Vienna Court Opera and then, a year later, of the Vienna Philharmonic. Mahler's conducting career permitted composition only during the summers, in a series of "composing huts" he had built in picturesque rural locations. He completed his first symphony in 1888, but it met with utter audience incomprehension. He reserved this time for symphonies, all of them large-scale works, and song cycles. In Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), he merged the two forms into an immense song-symphony. The Viennese public largely failed to understand his music, but Mahler took their reactions calmly, accurately predicting that "My time will yet come." Meanwhile, his autocratic ways as a conductor alienated musicians. In 1901, the press and the musicians essentially forced his resignation from the Philharmonic. He married a young composition student, Alma Schindler in 1902, and they soon had two daughters. By 1907 Mahler was increasingly away from Vienna, conducting his own works, and thus he resigned from the opera as well. Just after accepting the position of principal conductor of New York's Metropolitan Opera, but before leaving Vienna, Mahler's older daughter, age 4, died from scarlet fever and diphtheria, and he learned he himself had a defective heart valve. In New York, he was impressed by the caliber of talent and quickly gained audience approval. In 1909 he became conductor of the New York Philharmonic, which he found much more agreeable than the opera work by this time. The following year, he had a triumphant premiere of his massive Symphony No. 8 in Munich. Despite the professional successes, his personal life suffered another blow when his and Alma's marriage began having problems. They stayed together, and after he became ill in February 1911, she saw to it that he made it back to Vienna, where he died on May 18.

The conductors Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Willem Mengelberg, and Maurice Abravanel kept Mahler's legacy alive, and Mahler's are now among the most recorded of any symphonies. His frequent incorporation of vocal elements into symphonic writing brought to full fruition a process that had begun with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, demonstrating his music's firm roots in the Germanic classical tradition. However, it was his huge tapestries of shifting moods and tones, ranging from tragedy to bitter irony (often explicitly indicated in performance directions), from café music to evocations of the sublime, that portended a century in which multiplicity ruled. Read less

Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 & 9, Das Lied von der Erde / Klemperer [6-CD Set]
Release Date: 05/07/2013   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 483982   Number of Discs: 6
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Mahler: Symphony No 8 / Solti, Chicago [Blu-ray Audio]
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001993346   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 7 / Jarvi, Residentie Orchestra The Hague
Release Date: 07/27/2010   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5079   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Mehta, Vienna Philharmonic [Blu-ray Audio]
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001993646   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 6, Etc / Järvi, Royal Scottish No
Release Date: 02/03/2004   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9207   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Das Lied von der Erde

Browse 101-113 of 113 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9, Das Lied Von Der Erde / Haitink
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 462299 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  James King
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies & Orchestral Songs / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459080 Release Date: 11/10/1998   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  James King,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Trudeliese Schmidt,  Gerti Zeumer  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
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  • 103.
    Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Levine, Norman, Jerusalem
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439948 Release Date: 07/14/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Siegfried Jerusalem
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Mahler: Das Liede Von Der Erde / Klemperer, Dermota, Et Al
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1036 Release Date: 10/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anton Dermota,  Elsa Cavelti
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Mahler: Orchestral Songs / Haitink, Norman, Baker, King
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 454014 Release Date: 04/09/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Hermann Prey,  James King  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Klemperer - Mahler: Symphony No 2, Das Lied Von Der Erde
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 5521 Release Date: 03/12/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Elsa Cavelti,  Anton Dermota,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Ilona Steingruber
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Academy Chorus
    CD: $11.49
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  • 107.
    Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Krips, Reynolds, Thomas
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 278921 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anna Reynolds,  Jess Thomas
    Conductor:  Josef Krips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Halász, Donose, Harper
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550933 Release Date: 10/24/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  R.M. Donose Danila,  Thomas Harper
    Conductor:  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
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  • 109.
    Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde;  Bruckner / Hans Rosbaud
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 5518 Release Date: 09/26/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Grace Hoffman,  Helmut Melchert
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64455 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ernst Haefliger,  Mildred Miller
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 111.
    Mahler/Schoenberg: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Osmo Vänskä
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 681 Release Date: 12/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Monica Groop,  Jorma Silvasti
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Chamber Ensemble
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  • 112.
    Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde, Lieder / Ormandy, Davis Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 53518 Release Date: 05/03/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Lili Chookasian,  Richard Lewis,  Frederica Von Stade
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Ludwig, Kollo, Karajan
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 419058 Release Date: 12/10/1987   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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