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: Des Knaben Wunderhorn / Thomas Hampson
Release Date: 12/21/2010   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001508502   Number of Discs: 1
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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 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: Symphony No 2  (Arranged For Small Orchestra) / Kaplan, Vienna Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2290   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor

Browse 1-25 of 155 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 41014 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 4-6
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 361 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    CD: $39.99
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  • 5.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Chailly, Leipzig Gewandhaus
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20284 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 6.
    James Levine Conducts Mahler: Symphonies No 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7686092 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Judith Blegen
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Ivan Fischer, Budapest Festival Orchestra
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 34213 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival 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.
    Mahler: Symphonie No 5 / Karajan, Berliner Philharmoniker [blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001927446 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 12.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 13.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Luisi, Mdr Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Querstand   Catalog: 413 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Middle German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
    On sale! $201.98
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  • 18.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Rosbaud, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5091 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 332902 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    CD: $12.99
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Barshai, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie
    Label: Laurel   Catalog: LR-905CD Release Date: 02/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Youth Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 22.
    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
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  • 23.
    Label: Farao   Catalog: S108052 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Andreas Ottl
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001739502 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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