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 8 / Solti, Chicago [Blu-ray Audio]
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001993346   Number of Discs: 1
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Mozart: Symphony No. 40; Mahler: Kindertotenlieder; R. Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Testament  
Catalog: 1489   Number of Discs: 2
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Mahler: Symphony No 6, Etc / Järvi, Royal Scottish No
Release Date: 02/03/2004   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9207   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 1 / Kegel, Dresden Po
Release Date: 12/11/2007   Label: Berlin Classics  
Catalog: 4913   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 7 / Jarvi, Residentie Orchestra The Hague
Release Date: 07/27/2010   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5079   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor

Browse 26-50 of 156 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Mahler
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1920102 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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  • 27.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Gatti, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51318 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ian Balmain
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 28.
    The Art Of Giuseppe Sinopoli - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1986056 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Titus,  Thomas Moser,  Felicity Palmer,  Solveig Kringelborn  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Barenboim Conducts Richard Strauss, Mahler & Schoenberg
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2564663163 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Charles Pikler,  Joseph Golan,  Li-Kuo Chang,  Ruben Gonzalez  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 460 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Manfred Honeck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85192 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Forster, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 160 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Heiko Mathias Förster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westfalen New Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Anthology Of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Vol 6 - Live Radio Recordings 1990-2000
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 11004 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Luciano Berio,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Ildiko Komlósi,  Kolos Kovacs,  Martha Argerich,  Ann Murray  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Claus Peter Flor,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Luciano Berio  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Swingle Singers,  Netherlands Radio Women's Chorus
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  • 34.
    Icon: Charles Mackerras - Master Of Orchestral Texture
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98189 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonín Dvorák,  Arthur Sullivan,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Malcolm Stewart,  Elizabeth Harwood
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Pro Arte Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Klaus Tennstedt, London Philharmonic
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5041 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Shipway, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28750 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Frank Shipway
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Mahler Par Scherchen - Symphonies 1, 5 & 7
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 716 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Klaus Tennstedt - The Complete Mahler Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94493 Release Date: 06/07/2011   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Doris Soffel,  Edith Mathis,  Ortrun Wenkel,  Lucia Popp  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir,  Southend Boys Choir  ... 
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  • 40.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1-10 / Zinman, Zurich
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 72723 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Anna Larsson,  Juliane Banse,  Birgit Remmert,  Luba Orgonasova  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Schweizer Chamber Chorus,  Zurich Vocal Ensemble  ... 
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  • 41.
    Mahler: The Symphonies / Abravanel, Utah Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 182 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Beverly Sills,  Florence Kopleff,  Christina Krooskos,  Netania Davrath  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  University of Utah Civic Chorale,  University of Utah Civic Chorale Women's Voices  ... 
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  • 42.
    Mahler: Symphonies 1 - 7 / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058574 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Yuja Wang,  Anna Larsson,  Eteri Gvazava,  Magdalena Kozená
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra,  Tölz Boys Choir  ... 
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  • 43.
    Mahler Symphonies No 4 & 5 / Gergiev, World Orchestra For Peace
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 702608 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Camilla Tilling
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for Peace
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  • 44.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Overture
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2054074 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Gergiev, London SO
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 664 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Mahler - The People's Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001501802 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Anna Larsson,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 47.
    Introducing Mahler - Symphony No 5 / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2056178 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Mahler: The Complete Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 08985 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Wolfram Rieger,  Christa Ludwig,  Fritz Wunderlich  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Otto Klemperer,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 49.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Wit, Halasz, Olson
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501502 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Lynda Russell,  Ewa Podles,  Jadwiga Rappé,  Hanna Lisowska
    Conductor:  Robert Olson,  Michael Halász,  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Warsaw Boys' Choir,  Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir  ... 
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  • 50.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Simon Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65935 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
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