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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: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Kleiber, Ludwig, Kmentt
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Wiener Symphoniker  
Catalog: 7   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 7 / Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO
Release Date: 10/07/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002155002   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 8 / Wit, Warsaw National Po, Et Al
Release Date: 04/18/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550533   Number of Discs: 2
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Mahler: Symphony No 1 / Marin Alsop, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572207   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 7 / Michael Halász, Polish National So
Release Date: 07/18/1995   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550531   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor

Browse 51-75 of 146 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Mahler: The Symphonies / Leonard Bernstein [11-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001408102 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Kenneth Riegel,  Agnes Baltsa,  Hermann Prey  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
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  • 54.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Maazel, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 42310 Release Date: 03/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 3486650 Release Date: 03/23/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Markus Stenz
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  • 56.
    Sir John Barbirolli - The Great EMI Recordings - 40th Anniversary
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57767 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Giacomo Puccini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  André Navarra
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Barshai, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93719 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Youth Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 2193719 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai
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  • 59.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Svetlanov, Russian State Federation Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564688862 Release Date: 12/22/2009   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Natalia Gerassimova,  Olga Alexandrova,  Galina Borissova,  Alexei Martynov  ... 
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra,  Russian Academic Chorus,  Moscow Boys Choir  ... 
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  • 60.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Stenz, Gurzenich Orchestra Cologne
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 650 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Markus Stenz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
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  • 61.
    111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341002 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Hubert Giesen,  Helmut Walcha  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniele Callegari,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
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  • 62.
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108052 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Andreas Ottl
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 63.
    Mahler: Sinfonie No. 5
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 98800 Release Date: 09/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
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  • 64.
    Bernstein - The Mahler Symphonies
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 745369 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Gwenyth Annear,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Erna Spoorenberg,  Anna Reynolds  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  London Symphony Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Neumann, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93278 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Zinman, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 731450 Release Date: 02/03/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Swarowsky, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 17202 Release Date: 12/03/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Hans Swarowsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Jansons, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 8007 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Leaper, Gran Canaria Filarmonica
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 340230 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Alejandro Castañeda,  José Zarzo
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grand Canary Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw Orch
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 416469 Release Date: 11/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 /  Dohnanyi, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425438 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Mahler: 10 Symphonies / Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic, Etc
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447023 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 In C Sharp Minor / Jaap Van Zweden
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 33 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jaap Van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Basics 25-cd Boxset
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 186002 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
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  • 75.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5
    Label: Basics   Catalog: 185502 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Günther Herbig
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