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 No 1-10 / Zinman, Zurich
Release Date: 05/31/2011   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 72723   Number of Discs: 15
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Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Shipway, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 08/09/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28750   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 1 / Simonov, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 03/09/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28630   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony no 2
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 452   Number of Discs: 2
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Mahler: Symphony No 2  (Arranged For Small Orchestra) / Kaplan, Vienna Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2290   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Kindertotenlieder

Browse 1-25 of 89 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 307 Release Date: 11/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  George Frideric Handel,  Gustav Mahler,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Bruno Walter
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  • 3.
    Mahler: Orchestral Songs / Gerhaher, Nagano, Montreal Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 370133 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christian Gerhaher
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
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  • 5.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22320 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  George London,  Hermann Schey,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
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  • 6.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22321 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Bruno Walter,  Kathleen [Contralto Vocals] Ferrier
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
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  • 7.
    Thomas Hampson: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844232 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Daniil Shtoda,  Timothy Robinson,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong,  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Dame Janet Baker - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi 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  ... 
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  • 9.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7704256 Release Date: 06/14/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Walter Berry,  Lotte Rysanek  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Erede,  Karl Böhm,  Berislav Klobucar,  Fausto Cleva  ... 
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7705165 Release Date: 05/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Hugo Wolf,  Hans W. Henze
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  • 12.
    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
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  • 13.
    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
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  • 14.
    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  ... 
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  • 15.
    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
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  • 16.
    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
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  • 17.
    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,  Max Gilbert,  Phyllis Spurr,  Julius Patzak
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Bruno Walter
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  • 18.
    Gustav Mahler: Kindertotenlieder; Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen
    Label: Eloquentia   Catalog: 1233 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferruccio Busoni,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Sara Mingardo
    Conductor:  Luigi Piovano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musici Aurei
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  • 19.
    Haydn: Nelson Mass; Mahler: Kindertotenlieder / Kertesz, Popp, Raitzin, Gramatzki, Forrester
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 9652 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Takao Okamora,  Ilse Gramatzki,  Misha Raitzin,  Lucia Popp  ... 
    Conductor:  István Kertész
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Tel Aviv Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 20.
    Late Romantic Masterpieces / Charles Munch
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7899792 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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  • 21.
    Kirsten Flagstad Edition - The Decca Recitals
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001683102 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner,  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Sigvart Fotland,  Edwin McArthur
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Hans Knappertsbusch,  Oivin Fjeldstad,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10130 Release Date: 04/27/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Hertha Klust,  Gerald Moore,  Klaus Billing  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Herbert von Karajan,  Ferenc Fricsay
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  • 23.
    Kathleen Ferrier - The Complete EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56284 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Gerald Moore,  Nel Duval  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Charles Bruck,  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Netherlands Opera Orchestra,  Netherlands Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 24.
    Mahler: Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen; Kindertotenlieder; 5 Lieder
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 02298 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  André Vandernoot,  Otto Klemperer
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  • 25.
    Mahler: Kindertotenlieder / Kathleen Ferrier
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6787222 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  George Frideric Handel,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Maurice Greene  ... 
    Performer:  Isobel Baillie,  Gerald Moore
    Conductor:  Charles Bruck,  Bruno Walter
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