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 9 / Fischer, Budapest Festival
Release Date: 06/09/2015   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 36115   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Ivan Fischer, Budapest Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 12/10/2013   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 34213   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 1
Release Date: 09/12/2012   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 33112   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler 10 / Nezet-Seguin, Orchestre Metropolitain
Release Date: 09/18/2015   Label: Atma Classique  
Catalog: 2711   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection"

Browse 26-50 of 128 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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: $134.49
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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 & 9, Das Lied von der Erde / Klemperer [6-CD Set]
    Label: Warner 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
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  • 32.
    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: $114.99
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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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  ... 
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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  ... 
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  • 37.
    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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    CD: $23.99
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  • 38.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Margiono, Van Nes, Haitink
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 7040 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Charlotte Margiono,  Jard Van Nes
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 39.
    Music Is The Language Of The Heart And Soul - A Portrait Of Mariss Jansons
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 709708 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Music Is The Language Of The Heart And Soul - A Portrait Of Mariss Jansons [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 709804 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Kathleen Ferrier - The Complete Decca Recordings [14 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001654200 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Zoe Vlachopoulos,  Ann Ayars,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Stiedry,  Reginald Jacques,  Boyd Neel,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  Southern Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bach Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 42.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / De Waart, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 27603 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Charlotte Margiono,  Birgit Remmert
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir
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  • 43.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Simone Young, Hamburg Philharmonic
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 412 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Michaela Kaune,  Dagmar Pecková
    Conductor:  Simone Young
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Boulez, Damrau, Lang [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2054424 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Petra Lang,  Diana Damrau
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 45.
    A Concert For New York
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20241 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Dorothea Röschmann,  Michelle DeYoung
    Conductor:  Alan Gilbert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Choral Artists,  New York Philharmonic
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 46.
    A Concert For New York [Blu-ray]
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 10241 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Michelle DeYoung,  Dorothea Röschmann
    Conductor:  Alan Gilbert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Choral Artists,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 47.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Levine, Vienna
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 837112 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Kathleen Battle,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    The Mahler Project / Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 39 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Michelle DeYoung,  Alexander Barantschik  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
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  • 49.
    Bbc Legends: Stokowski
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 50072 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Otto Klemperer  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Rae Woodland
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union,  BBC Choral Society  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 50.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Chailly, Oelze, Connolly, Leipzig Gewandhaus
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20238 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christiane Oelze,  Sarah Connolly
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Chorus,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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