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 2, 4, 7 & 9, Das Lied von der Erde / Klemperer
Release Date: 05/07/2013   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 483982   Number of Discs: 6
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Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Tennstedt
Release Date: 09/02/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 627828   Number of Discs: 11
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Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin
Release Date: 06/24/2016   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 750408   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection"

Browse 1-25 of 132 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B002494101 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Ileana Cotrubas
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Bach Festival Percussion Ensemble
    CD: $202.99
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  • 6.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573350 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Suhrud Athavale,  Maasa Nakazawa
    CD: $12.99
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  • 7.
    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,  Julia Varády  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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  ... 
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  • 11.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 2
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552126 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 2 / Gerard Schwarz, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
    Label: Artek   Catalog: 61 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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: $34.99
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  • 15.
    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  ... 
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  • 16.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 2
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002253 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
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  • 17.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / 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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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    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  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 21.
    Herbert Blomstedt - The San Francisco Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002032302 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Berwald,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Jard Van Nes,  Elisabeth Norberg-Schulz,  Wolfgang Holzmair,  Wendy Hoffman  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Benjamin Zander, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 468 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Miah Persson,  Sarah Connolly
    Conductor:  Benjamin Zander
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 24.
    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  ... 
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  • 25.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2  (Arranged For Small Orchestra) / Kaplan, Vienna Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2290 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Gilbert Kaplan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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