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 7 / Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO
Release Date: 10/07/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002155002   Number of Discs: 1
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James Levine Conducts Mahler: Symphonies No 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 7686092   Number of Discs: 10
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Mahler: Lieder / Bernarda Fink
Release Date: 05/13/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902173   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Deyoung, Villars, Oue, Et Al
Release Date: 08/17/1999   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 88   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 4 / Bruno Walter, Vienna Philharmonic
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Andromeda  
Catalog: 5041   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Symphony no 3 in D minor

Browse 26-50 of 101 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1-10 / Zinman, Zurich
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 72723 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anna Larsson,  Juliane Banse,  Birgit Remmert,  Luba Orgonasova  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Schweizer Chamber Chorus,  Zurich Vocal Ensemble  ... 
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  • 27.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 3; Debussy: La Mer / Mitropoulos, Cologne Rso
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5021 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
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  • 28.
    Mahler: The Symphonies / Abravanel, Utah Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 182 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Beverly Sills,  Florence Kopleff,  Christina Krooskos,  Netania Davrath  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  University of Utah Civic Chorale,  University of Utah Civic Chorale Women's Voices  ... 
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  • 29.
    Mahler: Symphonies 1 - 7 / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058574 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Yuja Wang,  Anna Larsson,  Eteri Gvazava,  Magdalena Kozená
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra,  Tölz Boys Choir  ... 
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  • 30.
    Mahler: Symphonies 3 & 10 / Charles Adler, Vienna SO
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1249 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Hilde Rössl-Majdan
    Conductor:  Charles Adler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Mahler - The People's Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001501802 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Anna Larsson,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 32.
    Mahler: Symphony No 3; Schoenberg: Pelleas & Melisande / Ashkenazy
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4803479 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
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  • 33.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 3 / Nagano, Peckova, Deutsches Symphonie
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4681617 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Dagmar Pecková
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Frauen Der Rundfunkchor Berlin,  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
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  • 34.
    Mahler: The Complete Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 08985 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Wolfram Rieger,  Christa Ludwig,  Fritz Wunderlich  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Otto Klemperer,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Wit, Halasz, Olson
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501502 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Lynda Russell,  Ewa Podles,  Jadwiga Rappé,  Hanna Lisowska
    Conductor:  Robert Olson,  Michael Halász,  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Warsaw Boys' Choir,  Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir  ... 
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  • 36.
    Mahler: The Symphonies / Leonard Bernstein [11-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001408102 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Kenneth Riegel,  Agnes Baltsa,  Hermann Prey  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
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  • 37.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Svetlanov, Russian State Federation Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564688862 Release Date: 12/22/2009   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Natalia Gerassimova,  Olga Alexandrova,  Galina Borissova,  Alexei Martynov  ... 
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra,  Russian Academic Chorus,  Moscow Boys Choir  ... 
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  • 38.
    Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2056334 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anna Larsson
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Mahler: Symphony no 3 / Macal, Remmert, Czech PO
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 300 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Miroslav Kejmar
    Conductor:  Zdenek Macal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Bernstein - The Mahler Symphonies
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 745369 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Gwenyth Annear,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Erna Spoorenberg,  Anna Reynolds  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  London Symphony Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 41.
    Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Gergiev, London So, Et Al
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 660 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anna Larsson
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  Tiffin Children's Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2056338 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anna Larsson
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Tölz Boys Choir
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  • 43.
    Basics - Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Rogner, Rappe, Berlin Rso, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149322 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Jadwiga Rappé
    Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Mahler: 10 Symphonies / Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic, Etc
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447023 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Mahler: Symphonies 1 & 3 / Mehta, Forrester, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4801133 Release Date: 07/14/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1-10 (Limited Edition)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 805461 Release Date: 07/01/2008   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Eva Martón,  Josef Pomberger,  Agnes Baltsa  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
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  • 47.
    Mahler: Symhony No. 3 / Nagano, German Symphony Orchestra Berlin
    Label: Maestro Music   Catalog: 4697197 Release Date: 01/21/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
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  • 48.
    Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Zinman, Tonhalle Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 712918 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Birgit Remmert
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Swedish Chamber Chorus,  Zurich Vocal Ensemble
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  • 49.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1-10, Das Klagende Lied, Etc / Rattle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 00721 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Peter Seiffert,  Thomas Hampson,  Helena Döse,  Alfreda Hodgson  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 50.
    Levine Conducts Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Horne, Chicago So
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 1757 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glen Ellyn Children's Choir,  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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