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: 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 4; Berg: 7 Early Songs / Bonney, Chailly
Release Date: 12/06/1999   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 466720   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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Mahler: Symphony no 3 / Salonen, Larsson, Los Angeles PO
Release Date: 03/17/1998   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 60250   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection"

Browse 126-143 of 143 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    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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  • 127.
    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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  • 128.
    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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  • 129.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448921 Release Date: 06/03/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Helen Watts,  Heather Harper
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 130.
    Klemperer - Mahler: Symphony No 2, Das Lied Von Der Erde
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 5521 Release Date: 03/12/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Elsa Cavelti,  Anton Dermota,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Ilona Steingruber
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Academy Chorus
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  • 131.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Sinopoli, Fassbaender
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445587 Release Date: 02/01/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Rosalind Plowright
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Choir
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  • 132.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2;  Schmidt / Mehta, Cotrubas, Ludwig
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 440615 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schmidt,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Ileana Cotrubas
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 133.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 94545 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Nancy Gustafson,  Florence Quivar
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 134.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Mahler: Symphonies 1 & 2, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64447 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Mildred Miller,  Maureen Forrester,  Emilia Cundari
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 135.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Blomstedt
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443350 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ruth Ziesak,  Charlotte Hellekant
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 136.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Haitink, Mcnair, Van Nes, Berlin
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438935 Release Date: 07/19/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Jard Van Nes,  Sylvia McNair
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
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  • 137.
    Mahler: The Symphonies / Haitink, Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442050 Release Date: 02/25/1994   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Hans Sotin,  William Cochran,  Hanneke van Bork,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  St. Willibrod Children's Chorus,  St. Pius X Children's Choir  ... 
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  • 138.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550523-24 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Hanna Lisowska,  Jadwiga Rappé
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Chorus,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 139.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Inbal, Donath, Frankfurt Radio Sym
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 7603 Release Date: 08/27/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Doris Soffel,  Helen Donath
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra Chorus,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 140.
    Mahler: The Symphonies / Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430804 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Heather Harper,  Arleen Augér,  Yvonne Minton  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
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  • 141.
    Classics - Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Slatkin, Saint Louis
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80081 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Kathleen Battle,  Maureen Forrester
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Chorus
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  • 142.
    Mahler: Symphonie No 2 / Bernstein, Ludwig, New York PO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423395 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Barbara Hendricks
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Westminster Choir
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