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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: Complete Symphonies / Klaus Tennstedt
Release Date: 09/02/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 627828   Number of Discs: 11
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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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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: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Coote, Fritz, Albrecht, Netherlands Philharmonic
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186502    Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn / Connolly, Henschel, Herreweghe [CD+Catalog]
Release Date: 03/08/2011   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 2901920   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection"

Browse 101-125 of 137 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Tilson Thomas, San Francisco So
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 11/09/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus
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  • 102.
    Debussy, Mahler / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775082 Release Date: 07/19/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anna Larsson,  Eteri Gvazava
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra
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  • 103.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Barbirolli, Stader, Baker, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1320 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Maria Stader
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Hedwig's Cathedral Choir
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  • 104.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Kaplan, Vienna Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000141436 Release Date: 11/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Latonia Moore,  Nadja Michael
    Conductor:  Gilbert Kaplan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 105.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Gilbert Kaplan, Vienna Po, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000098902 Release Date: 09/09/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Latonia Moore,  Nadja Michael
    Conductor:  Gilbert Kaplan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 106.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47600 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Helene Bernardy,  Monika Straube
    Conductor:  Oleg Caetani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chemnitz Children's Chorus,  Chemnitz Singakademie,  Chemnitz Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 107.
    Mahler: Symphony no 2
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 7498292 Release Date: 06/23/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Susan Chilcott,  Violeta Urmana
    Conductor:  Kazushi Ono
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Chorus
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  • 108.
    Klemperer Legacy - Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Bavarian Rso
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66867 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Heather Harper,  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 109.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Klemperer, Ferrier, Vincent, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2210 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Jo Vincent
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Mahler - The Complete Recordings / Sinopoli, Philharmonia
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471451 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Bernd Weikl,  Iris Vermillion,  Keith Lewis,  Brigitte Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Shinyukai Choir  ... 
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  • 111.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2, Etc / Chailly, Concertgebouw, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470283 Release Date: 02/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Melanie Diener,  Petra Lang
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 112.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 2 & 5 /Mehta, Gustafson, Quivar, Et Al
    Label: Ultima   Catalog: 28170 Release Date: 07/03/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Nancy Gustafson,  Florence Quivar
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Kubelik, Mathis, Fassbaender, Et Al
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 23402 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Edith Mathis,  Brigitte Fassbaender
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 114.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1 & 2 / Tennstedt, Mathis, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 74182 Release Date: 02/13/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Doris Soffel,  Edith Mathis
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir
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  • 115.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2, Kurtág, Schoenberg / Gielen
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93001 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  György Kurtág,  Gustav Mahler,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Performer:  Juliane Banse,  Cornelia Kallisch,  James Johnson
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  European Soloists Academy,  Berlin Radio Chorus
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  • 116.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 466992 Release Date: 06/13/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ileana Cotrubas,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 117.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Klemperer, Schwarzkopf, Et Al
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67255 Release Date: 03/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2
    Label: Vox Da Capo   Catalog: 7213 Release Date: 02/29/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Felicity Lott,  Helen Watts
    Conductor:  Harold Farberman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brighton Festival Chorus,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 119.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Murphy, Lang, Litton, Dallas Symphony
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3237 Release Date: 01/26/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Heidi Grant Murphy,  Petra Lang
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Chorus
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  • 120.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies & Orchestral Songs / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459080 Release Date: 11/10/1998   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  James King,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Trudeliese Schmidt,  Gerti Zeumer  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
    CD: $205.99
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  • 121.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Tennstedt, London Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 72941 Release Date: 11/03/1998   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Trudeliese Schmidt,  Hans Sotin,  Nadine Denize,  Edith Wiens  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Tiffin School Boys Chorus,  London Philharmonic Choir  ... 
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  • 122.
    Mahler: Symphonie No 2 / Kubelik, Mathis, Procter, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457905 Release Date: 09/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Norma Procter,  Edith Mathis
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 123.
    Bernstein Century - Mahler: Symphonies No 2 & 8, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 63159 Release Date: 10/28/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Jennie Tourel,  Lee Venora,  George London,  Lili Chookasian  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegiate Chorale,  New York Philharmonic,  Columbus Boychoir  ... 
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  • 124.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 2 & 4 / Claudio Abbado
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 453037 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade,  Gerhart Hetzel,  Carol Neblett,  Marilyn Horne
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Suitner, Hayossyova, Priew, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 9011 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ute Priew,  Magdaléna Hajóssyová
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Chorus,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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