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. 5 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
Release Date: 08/04/2017   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2226   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra - Mahler: Totenfeier / Jurowski, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Release Date: 09/15/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186597   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / DePreist, London Symphony
Release Date: 12/12/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557990   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Song Cycles / Albrecht, Coote, Netherlands Philharmonic
Release Date: 07/07/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186576   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 8 / Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw
Release Date: 05/16/2006   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186166   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan"

Browse 1-25 of 168 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sir Georg Solti: The Complete Chicago Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831375 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 108
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $373.99
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  • 2.
    Michael Gielen Edition, Vol. 6: Mahler Complete Symphonies
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 19042 Release Date: 09/08/2017   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Mahler: The Complete Symphonies / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 563131 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Dame Janet Baker,  Birgit Remmert,  Peter Thomas  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Shirley Court,  Jean Ashworth Bartle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus Women  ... 
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  • 4.
    DG 111: The Conductors / Various
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797477 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gaston Litaize,  Alain Moglia,  Luben Yordanoff,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Leonard Bernstein,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $138.99
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  • 5.
    Abbado & Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797239 Release Date: 04/28/2017   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Hector Berlioz,  Gustav Mahler,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Shlomo Mintz
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $32.49
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  • 6.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies Nos. 1-9 / Maazel, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 363 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Sally Matthews,  Michelle DeYoung,  Sarah Connolly,  Sarah Fox  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Chorus,  Tiffin School Boys Chorus  ... 
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  • 7.
    Mahler, Vol. 2: Symphonies Nos. 1, 5 & 9 / Sladkovsky, Kondrashin
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002475 Release Date: 02/17/2017   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Alexander Sladkovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonia Orchestra,  Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $72.99
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  • 8.
    Mahler: The 9 Symphonies / Nott, Bamberg Symphony
    Label: Tudor Records   Catalog: 1670 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jonathan Nott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 1
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 77 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Manfred Honeck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Gustav Mahler Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 14000 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Jard van Nes,  Charlotte Margiono,  Dennis Egan,  Helen Watts  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Bernard Haitink,  Jascha Horenstein,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Saxony State Opera Chorus Dresden,  Dresden Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 11.
    Symphonies & Symphonic Poems / Mehta
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002488802 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Hector Berlioz,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Sidney Harth,  Maureen Forrester,  Daniel Benyamini,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $65.99
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  • 12.
    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
    CD: $54.49
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  • 13.
    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,  Philip Smith,  Glenn Dicterow,  Jaap van Zweden  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Bach Festival Percussion Ensemble
    CD: $195.99
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  • 14.
    Label: Unicorn-kanchana   Catalog: 2012 Release Date: 04/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
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  • 15.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Nezet-Seguin, Bavarian Radio Symphony
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900143 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    111: 6 Classic Recordings [6 LP]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002438901 Release Date: 01/15/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann,  Antonín Dvorák,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Karl Ridderbusch,  Hans Haselbock,  Julia Hamari  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Herbert von Karajan,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir  ... 
    LP: $130.99
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  • 17.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Paris Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 18.
    Mahler Symphonies - Live in Concert / Tennstedt, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 100 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Jard Van Nes,  Yvonne Kenny,  Jane Eaglen  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $88.99
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  • 19.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 1 'Titan'; Blumine / Lintu, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1264 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    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: $78.99
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  • 21.
    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: $78.99
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  • 22.
    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: $126.99
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  • 23.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Fischer, Utah Symphony
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 715 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Thierry Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 1
    Label: Hi-q Records   Catalog: 35 Release Date: 02/17/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
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  • 25.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1 & 2 / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Sym Orchestra
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 718008 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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