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 1 / Jurowski, London PO
Release Date: 05/28/2013   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 70   Number of Discs: 2
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Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Jurowski, Stotijn, Kucerova
Release Date: 06/28/2011   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 54   Number of Discs: 2
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Mahler: Symphony No 8 / Solti, Chicago [Blu-ray Audio]
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001993346   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Mehta, Vienna Philharmonic [Blu-ray Audio]
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001993646   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 9 & 10 (Adagio) / Markus Stenz, Cologne  Gurzenich Orchestra
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: 654   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor

Browse 101-125 of 154 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Oramo, City Of Birmingham So
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 62055 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Elspeth Dutch,  Jonathan Holland
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Saraste, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 62495 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 103.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Haitink, Orchestre National De France
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5026 Release Date: 07/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Sarah Nemtanu
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Nott, Bamberg So
    Label: Tudor Records   Catalog: 7126 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jonathan Nott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Mahler: The Symphonies / Chailly, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000482702 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Melanie Diener,  Petra Lang,  Barbara Bonney,  Peter Mattei  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus,  Netherlands Children's Choir  ... 
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  • 106.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Temirkanov, St Petersburg Po
    Label: Water Lily Acoustics   Catalog: 76 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1-9, Adagio / Michael Gielen
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93130 Release Date: 06/14/2005   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Juliane Banse,  Cornelia Kallisch,  Christine Whittlesey,  Wolfgang Hock  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  European Soloists Academy,  Aurelius Boys Choir of Calw  ... 
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  • 108.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Mehta, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4620802 Release Date: 06/06/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 109.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2054078 Release Date: 05/17/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Gielen, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93101 Release Date: 08/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Haenchen, Netherlands Po
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186004 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Hartmut Haenchen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 112.
    Mahler: Symphony No.5
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474169 Release Date: 02/03/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57385 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5, Etc / Saraste, Mackerras, Litton
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 61507 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ann Murray,  Thomas Allen
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Andrew Litton,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Mitropoulos Conducts Mahler: Symphonies 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1021 Release Date: 07/14/2002   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Otto Edelmann,  Mimi Coertse,  Hilde Zadek  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
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  • 116.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Scherchen, Vienna State Opera Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471268 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Mahler - The Complete Recordings / Sinopoli, Philharmonia
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471451 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Bernd Weikl,  Iris Vermillion,  Keith Lewis,  Brigitte Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Shinyukai Choir  ... 
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  • 118.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5, Das Lied Von Der Erde / Tennstedt
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 74849 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Klaus König
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 119.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 /Maazel, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 89850 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 120.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 2 & 5 /Mehta, Gustafson, Quivar, Et Al
    Label: Ultima   Catalog: 28170 Release Date: 07/03/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Nancy Gustafson,  Florence Quivar
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 121.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Zander, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80569 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Laurence Davies,  Aline Brewer,  Mark David
    Conductor:  Benjamin Zander
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 122.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1 & 5 / Bernstein
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469154 Release Date: 01/23/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 123.
    Mahler: Symphony No.5
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4674292 Release Date: 09/04/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Barenboim, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 100033 Release Date: 08/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Kubelik, Bavarian RSO
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95465 Release Date: 04/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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