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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: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Kleiber, Ludwig, Kmentt
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Wiener Symphoniker  
Catalog: 7   Number of Discs: 1
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The Music of Gustav Mahler: Issued 78 R.P.M. Recordings on CD, 1903-1940
Release Date: 12/03/2013   Label: Urlicht  
Catalog: 5980   Number of Discs: 8
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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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Mahler: Symphony No 8 / Wit, Warsaw National Po, Et Al
Release Date: 04/18/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550533   Number of Discs: 2
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Mahler: Symphony No 1 / Marin Alsop, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572207   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan"

Browse 1-25 of 177 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1 & 2 / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Sym Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 718104 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 3.
    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
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  • 4.
    Strauss, Mahler - Masterworks / Haenchen, Sanderling, Tilson Thomas, Leinsdorf
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5133 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss,  Robert Schumann
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Kurt Sanderling,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,  La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $44.49
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  • 5.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $139.99
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  • 6.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    On sale! $159.98
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  • 7.
    Stravinsky: The Rite Of Spring; Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Mehta, Australian World Orchestra
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4810847 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian World Orchestra
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  • 8.
    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
    On sale! $42.98
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  • 9.
    El Sistema at Salzburg Festival / Rattle, National Children's Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 716908 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  George Gershwin,  Leonard Bernstein,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Jesús Parra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Children's Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela,  White Hands Choir of Venezuela
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  • 10.
    El Sistema At Salzburg Festival / Rattle, National Children's Symphony Orchestra Of Venezuela [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 717004 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  George Gershwin,  Leonard Bernstein,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Jesús Parra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Children's Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela,  White Hands Choir of Venezuela
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 11.
    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: $61.49
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  • 12.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
    On sale! $259.98
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    Mahler: Sinfonie Nr. 1
    Label: Dreyer-gaido   Catalog: 21082 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Gabriel Feltz
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  • 15.
    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  ... 
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  • 16.
    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: $113.99
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  • 17.
    The Westminster Legacy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999302 Release Date: 02/18/2014   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Lucretia West,  Hans Loeffler,  Frederick Guthrie  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Pierre Monteux,  René Leibowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 18.
    Roger Norrington - The Romantics
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93313 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Hector Berlioz,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Anu Komsi
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $68.99
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  • 19.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 1
    Label: Lodia Compact Discs   Catalog: 776 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Carlos Paďta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Carlo Maria Giulini - The Chicago Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 317522 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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:  Michelle DeYoung,  Sally Matthews,  Sarah Connolly
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    CD: $39.99
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  • 23.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 1 - Live At The Berlin Philharmonie / Cabrera, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 67 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Donato Cabrera
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 25.
    Claudio Abbado - The Symphony Edition [41-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001846502 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Thomas Moser,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Mozart,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $129.99
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