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: Symphony No. 4  / Albrecht,  Netherlands Philharmonic
Release Date: 05/12/2015   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186487   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Klemperer, New Philharmonia Orchestra
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554935  
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Mahler/Schoenberg: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Osmo Vänskä
Release Date: 12/20/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 681   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Bernard Haitink, Et Al
Release Date: 06/26/2007   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186183   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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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor

Browse 1-25 of 126 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Stenz, Cologne Gurzenich Orchestra
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 029 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christiane Oelze,  Michaela Schuster
    Conductor:  Markus Stenz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
    On sale! $54.99
    CD: $47.49
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  • 2.
    The Leonard Bernstein Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462302 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 64
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi,  Glenn Dicterow,  Philip Smith,  Jaap Van Zweden  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    CD: $202.99
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  • 3.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 4.
    Mahler:  Complete Symphonies / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 732908 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Genia Kühmeier,  Nikolai Schukoff,  Charlotte Hellekant  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Limburg Cathedral Boys Choir,  Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $118.99
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  • 5.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 733004 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Genia Kühmeier,  Nikolai Schukoff,  Charlotte Hellekant  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Limburg Cathedral Boys Choir,  Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Blu-ray Video: $118.99
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  • 6.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Myung Whun Chung, Seoul Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002376302 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 7.
    Mahler Symphonies No 4 & 5 / Gergiev, World Orchestra For Peace [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 731304 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Camilla Tilling
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for Peace
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 8.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5, Kindertotenlieder / Tennstedt, NDR Symphony
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13058 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 9.
    Mahler: Symphonies No  5 & 6  / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 729308 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 10.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 5 & 6 / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 729404 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 11.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 /  Paul Daniel, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine
    Label: Actes Sud   Catalog: 23 Release Date: 03/03/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bordeaux Aquitaine Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Mahler: Symphonies 3 & 5 / Mehta, Bavarian State Orchestra [blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108087 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein Women's Chorus,  Vienna Boys' Choir
    Blu-ray Audio: $32.49
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  • 13.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Mariko Kobayashi,  Everett Firth,  Hiroshi Arimori,  Sawako Yasue  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
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    CD: $175.49
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  • 14.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 15.
    Mahler: Symphony no 5 / Saraste, WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 14045 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Klaus Tennstedt
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 627828 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  David Hill
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
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    CD: $35.99
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  • 18.
    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: $34.99
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  • 19.
    Rafael Kubelik - The Symphony Edition [23-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054802 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Antonín Dvorák,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Helen Donath,  Teresa Berganza,  Wieslaw Ochman,  Thomas Stewart  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $108.49
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  • 20.
    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  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 21.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 4-6
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 361 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 22.
    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
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 23.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Chailly, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 10284 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 24.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    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: $117.99
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