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: 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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Mahler: Symphony No 8 / Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw
Release Date: 05/16/2006   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186166   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 4, Debussy: Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune / Pinnock, Royal Academy of Music
Release Date: 08/27/2013   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 438   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Benjamin Zander, Philharmonia Orchestra
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 468   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor

Browse 26-50 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / 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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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    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
    Blu-ray Audio: $21.99
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 332902 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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  ... 
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  • 38.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Abbado, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001739502 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Mahler: Symphonie No. 5 / Kreizberg, Monte Carlo Philharmonic
    Label: Opmc Classics   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Mahler
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 920102 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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  • 41.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Gatti, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51318 Release Date: 05/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ian Balmain
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Warner 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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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    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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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 9 / Kondrashin, Moscow & Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestras
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1000814 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    CD: $78.99
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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    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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