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: Symphony No. 9 / Klemperer, New Philharmonia Orchestra
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554935  
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Mahler/Schoenberg: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Osmo Vänskä
Release Date: 12/20/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 681   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Stenz, Cologne Gurzenich Orchestra
Release Date: 04/08/2016   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: 029   Number of Discs: 13
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Mahler: Symphony No 8 / Neeme Järvi, Gustafsson, Et Al
Release Date: 03/08/1995   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 700   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Barshai, Moscow Radio So
Release Date: 12/07/1993   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 632   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 3 in D minor

Browse 1-25 of 92 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Stenz, Cologne Gurzenich Orchestra
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 029 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christiane Oelze,  Michaela Schuster
    Conductor:  Markus Stenz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
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  • 2.
    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
    CD: $202.99
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  • 3.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 3 / Van Zweden, Dallas Symphony
    Label: Dallas Symphony Orchestra   Catalog: 7 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Kelley O'Connor
    Conductor:  Jaap Van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Chorus
    CD: $19.99
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  • 4.
    Mahler:  Complete Symphonies / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 732908 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Genia Kühmeier,  Nikolai Schukoff,  Charlotte Hellekant  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Limburg Cathedral Boys Choir,  Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $118.99
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  • 5.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 733004 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Genia Kühmeier,  Nikolai Schukoff,  Charlotte Hellekant  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Limburg Cathedral Boys Choir,  Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Blu-ray Video: $118.99
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  • 6.
    The CBSO Years / Rattle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552758 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 52
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Benjamin Britten,  Kurt Weill,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Ameral Gunson,  John Mitchinson,  Malcolm King  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir Men and Boys  ... 
    CD: $124.49
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  • 7.
    Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109119 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Carolyn Watkinson
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Holland Boys' Choir,  NOS Women's Choir
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 8.
    Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109120 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Carolyn Watkinson
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Holland Boys' Choir,  NOS Women's Choir
    Blu-ray Video: $19.99
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  • 9.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 3 / Raiskin, Koblenz Orchestra
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553325 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ewa Marcieniec
    Conductor:  Daniel Raiskin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mainz Cathedral Boys' Choir,  Rheinische Philharmonie Staatsorchester
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  • 10.
    Mahler: Symphonies, Nos. 3 & 4 / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 719108 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Genia Kühmeier
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Limburg Cathedral Boys Choir
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  • 11.
    Mahler: Symphonies, Nos. 3 & 4 / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 719204 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Genia Kühmeier
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Limburg Cathedral Boys Choir
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 12.
    Mahler: Symphonies 3 & 5 / Mehta, Bavarian State Orchestra [blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108087 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein Women's Chorus,  Vienna Boys' Choir
    Blu-ray Audio: $32.49
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  • 13.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $175.49
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  • 14.
    Mahler Symphony No. 3
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 121193 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eileen [Soprano Vocals] Farrell
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
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  • 15.
    The Originals -   Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Abbado, Norman
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002154602 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Jessye Norman
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir
    CD: $25.49
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  • 16.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Klaus Tennstedt
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 627828 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  David Hill
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
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    CD: $35.99
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  • 17.
    Mahler / Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker [11-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 00206510 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Eteri Gvazava,  Anna Larsson,  Renée Fleming,  Guy Braunstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 18.
    Rafael Kubelik - The Symphony Edition [23-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054802 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Antonín Dvorák,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Helen Donath,  Teresa Berganza,  Wieslaw Ochman,  Thomas Stewart  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $108.49
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  • 19.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 3
    Label: Byu Music Group   Catalog: 1143 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Kory Katseanes
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    James Levine conducts Mahler: Symphonies No 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7686092 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Judith Blegen
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 21.
    Bernard Haitink: The Symphony Edition [36-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002010702 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 36
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Peter Schreier,  Robert Holl  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Chorus,  St. Willibrod Boy's Choir  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 22.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 3
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 557 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Denis Wick,  Dennis Egan,  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 24.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos 1-3  / Maazel, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 360 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Sally Matthews,  Michelle DeYoung,  Sarah Connolly
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    CD: $39.99
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  • 25.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1-10, Das Lied Von Der Erde / Royal Concertgebouw
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 12101 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Bernarda Fink,  Ricarda Merbeth,  Miah Persson,  Camilla Nylund  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding,  Mariss Jansons,  Iván Fischer,  Daniele Gatti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir,  Boys of the Breda Sacrament Choir  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
    DVD: $114.99
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