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, Brahms, Lieberson / Hunt Lieberson
Release Date: 04/10/2007   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 13   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 10 / Dausgaard, Seattle Symphony
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Seattle Symphony Orchestra  
Catalog: 1011   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 5 & Des Knaben Wunderhorn / Nelsons, Goerne
Release Date: 05/27/2016   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20354   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde / Nezet-Seguin, Connolly, Spence, London Philharmonic
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 73   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Fischer, Utah Symphony
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 715   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Kindertotenlieder

Browse 1-25 of 70 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Leonard Bernstein Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462302 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 64
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi,  Glenn Dicterow,  Philip Smith,  Jaap Van Zweden  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Bach Festival Percussion Ensemble
    CD: $202.99
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  • 2.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs; Mahler: Songs Of A Wayfarer; Kindertotenlieder
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002386802 Release Date: 10/16/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Brigitte Fassbaender
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Deutsches Sinfonie-orchester Berlin
    CD: $7.99
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  • 3.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5, Kindertotenlieder / Tennstedt, NDR Symphony
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13058 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 4.
    Des Todes Tod / Barbara Hofling, Helian Quartet
    Label: Dreyer-gaido   Catalog: 21092 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Paul Hindemith
    Performer:  Barbara Höfling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helian Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 5.
    Mahler: Kindertotenlieder; Ruckert Lieder / Schwanewilms, Martineau
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4146 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anne Schwanewilms,  Malcolm Martineau
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  • 6.
    Mahler: Lieder / Thomas Laske, Verena Louis
    Label: Klanglogo   Catalog: 1512 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Thomas Laske,  Verena Louis
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  • 7.
    Mahler / Teddy Tahu Rhodes
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4810484 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Teddy Tahu Rhodes,  Sharolyn Kimmorley
    Conductor:  Marko Letonja
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Mariko Kobayashi,  Everett Firth,  Hiroshi Arimori,  Sawako Yasue  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
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  • 9.
    Pohadka
    Label: Es-dur   Catalog: 2045 Release Date: 11/17/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Leos Janácek,  Gustav Mahler,  Josef Suk
    Performer:  Ian Fountain,  David Geringas
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Mahler: Kindertotenlieder; Gluck / Kathleen Ferrier
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350109 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Gustav Mahler,  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Phyllis Spurr,  Max Gilbert,  John Newmark
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Bruno Walter,  Charles Bruck
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  • 11.
    Vaclav Neumann: Early Recordings, 1953-1968
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4133 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Edvard Grieg,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Albert Roussel  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Chuchro,  Vera Soukupová,  Yvonne Loriod
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra,  Film Symphony Orchestra,  Brno Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $56.98
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  • 12.
    Claudio Abbado: The Complete RCA & Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 13.
    Dreams / Dagmar Peckova, Jiri Belohlavek, Prague Philharmonia
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4171 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms,  Luciano Berio
    Performer:  Dagmar Pecková
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia,  Prague Philharmonic Choir
    CD: $24.99
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  • 14.
    Mahler: Lieder / Bernarda Fink
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 902173 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Bernarda Fink,  Anthony Spiri
    Conductor:  Andres Orozco-Estrada
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gustav Mahler Ensemble,  Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Rca Living Stereo Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $125.98
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  • 16.
    Boulez Conducts Mahler - Complete Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001931702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Johan Botha,  Dorothea Röschmann,  Anna Larsson,  Christian Gerhaher  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    Dame Janet Baker - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 37712 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Henry Lawes  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Kenneth Heath,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Sir John Barbirolli,  André Previn,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $99.95
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  • 18.
    Mahler Songs / Eilana Lappalainen, Robert Miller
    Label: Elysium   Catalog: 728 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Eilana Lappalainen,  Robert Miller
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  • 19.
    Mahler: Kindertotenlieder; Berg: Violin Concerto; Altenberg Lieder
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5135 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Marion Eckstein,  Winfried Rademacher
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Mahler: Kindertotenlieder, Etc;  Brahms / Kathleen Ferrier
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1153 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Phyllis Spurr,  Max Gilbert,  John Newmark
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 21.
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Voice Of The Century [23 CDs & 2 DVDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001792900 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Daniel Barenboim,  Jörg Demus,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Karl Böhm,  Lorin Maazel,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $108.49
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  • 22.
    Gary Bertini Conducts Strauss, Mahler, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7136 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Elisabeth Leonskaja
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 23.
    Das Mahler Album / Wolfgang Holzmair, Russell Ryan
    Label: Nightingale Classics   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair,  Russell Ryan
    CD: $18.99
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  • 24.
    Kathleen Ferrier: A Centenary Celebration
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 4011 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Traditional,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  John Newmark,  Phyllis Spurr,  Max Gilbert,  Julius Patzak
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Bruno Walter
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    Late Romantic Masterpieces / Charles Munch
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 899792 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Henryk Szeryng,  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Maureen Forrester
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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