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: Complete Symphonies / Wit, Halasz, Olson
Release Date: 04/27/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8501502   Number of Discs: 15
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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor

Browse 51-75 of 140 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    Klaus Tennstedt - The Complete Mahler Recordings
    Label: Warner 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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    Mahler: The Complete Works
    Label: Warner 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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Maazel, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 42310 Release Date: 03/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Sir John Barbirolli - The Great EMI Recordings - 40th Anniversary
    Label: Warner 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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  • 67.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Tennstedt, London Philharmonic Orch
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49888 Release Date: 02/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    Mahler: Sinfonie No. 5
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 98800 Release Date: 09/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
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  • 73.
    Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Saraste, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 91445 Release Date: 08/31/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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