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 10 / Barshai, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie
Release Date: 03/23/2010   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94040   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / DePreist, London Symphony
Release Date: 12/12/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557990   Number of Discs: 1
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Michael Gielen Edition, Vol. 6: Mahler Complete Symphonies
Release Date: 09/08/2017   Label: Hänssler Classic  
Catalog: 19042   Number of Discs: 18
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Schumann & Mahler: Lieder / Boesch, Martineau
Release Date: 10/13/2017   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 511   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550528   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor

Browse 1-25 of 145 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sir Georg Solti: The Complete Chicago Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831375 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 108
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $373.99
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  • 2.
    Michael Gielen Edition, Vol. 6: Mahler Complete Symphonies
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 19042 Release Date: 09/08/2017   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Mahler: The Complete Symphonies / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 563131 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Dame Janet Baker,  Birgit Remmert,  Peter Thomas  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Shirley Court,  Jean Ashworth Bartle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus Women  ... 
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  • 4.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900150 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 5.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2226 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 & Kindertotenlieder / Karajan, Ludwig, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797216 Release Date: 06/09/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $44.49
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  • 7.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 & Lieder / Suitner, Lorenz, Staatskapelle Berlin
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300922 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Siegfried Lorenz
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Günther Herbig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Rhythm & Colours / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 560929 Release Date: 05/05/2017   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Gustav Mahler,  Claude Debussy,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Gerhaher,  Lawrence Brownlee,  Sally Matthews
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
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  • 9.
    Abbado & Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797239 Release Date: 04/28/2017   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Hector Berlioz,  Gustav Mahler,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Shlomo Mintz
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $32.49
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  • 10.
    Leonard Bernstein & The Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797221 Release Date: 04/28/2017   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
    CD: $32.49
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  • 11.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies Nos. 1-9 / Maazel, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 363 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Sally Matthews,  Michelle DeYoung,  Sarah Connolly,  Sarah Fox  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Chorus,  Tiffin School Boys Chorus  ... 
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  • 12.
    New York Philharmonic: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 533636 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Oscar Levant,  Robert Casadesus,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Josef Stransky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 13.
    Wiener Philharmoniker: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797090 Release Date: 03/31/2017   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Dermota,  Irmgard Seefried,  Rosette Anday,  Paul Schöffler  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Rafael Kubelik,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Kuchl String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 14.
    Mahler, Vol. 2: Symphonies Nos. 1, 5 & 9 / Sladkovsky, Kondrashin
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002475 Release Date: 02/17/2017   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Alexander Sladkovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonia Orchestra,  Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $72.99
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  • 15.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002460601 Release Date: 12/16/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $37.49
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  • 16.
    Mahler: The 9 Symphonies / Nott, Bamberg Symphony
    Label: Tudor Records   Catalog: 1670 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jonathan Nott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $78.99
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  • 17.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 81 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Manfred Honeck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $52.98
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  • 18.
    Berliner Philharmoniker: Great Symphonies
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002500502 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner,  Antonín Dvorák,  César Franck  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Eugen Jochum,  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $25.49
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  • 19.
    Gustav Mahler Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 14000 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Jard van Nes,  Charlotte Margiono,  Dennis Egan,  Helen Watts  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Bernard Haitink,  Jascha Horenstein,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Saxony State Opera Chorus Dresden,  Dresden Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 20.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 & Des Knaben Wunderhorn / Nelsons, Goerne
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20354 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Matthias Goerne
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 21.
    Symphonies & Symphonic Poems / Mehta
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002488802 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Hector Berlioz,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Sidney Harth,  Maureen Forrester,  Daniel Benyamini,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $65.99
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  • 22.
    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
    CD: $54.49
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  • 23.
    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,  Philip Smith,  Glenn Dicterow,  Jaap van Zweden  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Bach Festival Percussion Ensemble
    CD: $195.99
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  • 24.
    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,  Paris Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 25.
    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: $78.99
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