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
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: Des Knaben Wunderhorn / Thomas Hampson
Release Date: 12/21/2010   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001508502   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 1 / Simonov, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 03/09/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28630   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Shipway, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 08/09/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28750   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Work: Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection"

Browse 1-25 of 142 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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
    On sale! $79.98
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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
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  • 8.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Mehta, Vienna Philharmonic [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001993646 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ileana Cotrubas,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 9.
    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  ... 
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  • 10.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    Mahler: Symphony no 2
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 452 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Miah Persson,  Sarah Connolly
    Conductor:  Benjamin Zander
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Jansons, Harteros, Fink
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101685 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anja Harteros,  Bernarda Fink
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 16.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Jansons, Harteros, Fink [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108081 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anja Harteros,  Bernarda Fink
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 17.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2  / Piano Duo Trenkner & Speidel
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9301778 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trenkner-Speidel Duo
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  • 18.
    Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 & 9, Das Lied von der Erde / Klemperer [6-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 483982 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Christa Ludwig,  Fritz Wunderlich
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 19.
    Wiener Philharmoniker Symphony Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001797302 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Karl Böhm,  Leonard Bernstein,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 20.
    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: $91.99
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  • 21.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 3; Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Adler, Vienna Symphony
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1265 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  F. Charles Adler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Mahler: Symphonies 1-9 / Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 730 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Elena Mosuc,  Zlata Bulycheva,  Anna Larsson,  Laura Claycomb  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Joseph Cullen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus,  Tiffin Children's Choir  ... 
    SuperAudio CD: $70.99
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  • 23.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Mahler Symphonies 1 & 2 - 1942 Live Performances
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1264 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Nadine Conner,  Mona Paulee
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir
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  • 24.
    Leopold Stokowski - The Stereo Collection 1954-1975
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 1916852 Release Date: 08/21/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Anna Moffo,  Martina Arroyo  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra,  Norman Luboff Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Mahler
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 920102 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Emilia Cundari,  Maureen Forrester,  Mildred Miller,  Desi Halban  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir,  New York Philharmonic
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