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. 9 / Klemperer, New Philharmonia Orchestra
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554935  
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Mahler/Schoenberg: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Osmo Vänskä
Release Date: 12/20/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 681   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Stenz, Cologne Gurzenich Orchestra
Release Date: 04/08/2016   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: 029   Number of Discs: 13
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Mahler: Symphony No 8 / Neeme Järvi, Gustafsson, Et Al
Release Date: 03/08/1995   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 700   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Barshai, Moscow Radio So
Release Date: 12/07/1993   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 632   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 9 in D major

Browse 1-25 of 112 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Klemperer, New Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 554935 Release Date: 04/15/2016  
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Stenz, Cologne Gurzenich Orchestra
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 029 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christiane Oelze,  Michaela Schuster
    Conductor:  Markus Stenz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
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  • 3.
    The Leonard Bernstein Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462302 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 64
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi,  Glenn Dicterow,  Philip Smith,  Jaap Van Zweden  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    CD: $202.99
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  • 4.
    Mahler:  Complete Symphonies / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 732908 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Genia Kühmeier,  Nikolai Schukoff,  Charlotte Hellekant  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Limburg Cathedral Boys Choir,  Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $118.99
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  • 5.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 733004 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Genia Kühmeier,  Nikolai Schukoff,  Charlotte Hellekant  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Limburg Cathedral Boys Choir,  Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Blu-ray Video: $118.99
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  • 6.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 7, 8 & 9 / Maazel, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 362 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ailish Tynan,  Sally Matthews,  Sarah Tynan,  Sarah Connolly  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  Eton College Boys' Choir  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 7.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Fischer, Budapest Festival
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 36115 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Elder, Halle Orchestra
    Label: Hallé   Catalog: 7541 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Mark Elder
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 9 & 10 / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 729708 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 9 & 10 / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 729804 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Myung-whun Chung, Seoul Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002278502 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 12.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 13.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Mariko Kobayashi,  Everett Firth,  Hiroshi Arimori,  Sawako Yasue  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
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  • 14.
    Mahler: Symphonie Nr. 9
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38155 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Joolz Gale
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Mini
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  • 15.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Chailly, Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20299 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Chailly, Gewandhaus Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 10299 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 17.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies / Klaus Tennstedt
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 627828 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  David Hill
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
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  • 18.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 9 & 10 (Adagio) / Markus Stenz, Cologne  Gurzenich Orchestra
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 654 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Markus Stenz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $29.99
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  • 19.
    Great Recordings / Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002093802 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Krystian Zimerman,  Jard Van Nes  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Claudio Abbado,  Simon Rattle,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Chamber Choir
    CD: $39.99
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  • 20.
    Mahler / Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker [11-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 00206510 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Eteri Gvazava,  Anna Larsson,  Renée Fleming,  Guy Braunstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 21.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / 	Michael Schoenwandt , Danish National Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72636 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Michael Schoenwandt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Rafael Kubelik - The Symphony Edition [23-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054802 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Antonín Dvorák,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Helen Donath,  Teresa Berganza,  Wieslaw Ochman,  Thomas Stewart  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $108.49
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  • 23.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 24.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    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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