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, Brahms, Lieberson / Hunt Lieberson
Release Date: 04/10/2007   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 13   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 10 / Dausgaard, Seattle Symphony
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Seattle Symphony Orchestra  
Catalog: 1011   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 5 & Des Knaben Wunderhorn / Nelsons, Goerne
Release Date: 05/27/2016   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20354   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Fischer, Utah Symphony
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 715   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde / Nezet-Seguin, Connolly, Spence, London Philharmonic
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 73   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 9 in D major

Browse 101-117 of 117 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Philips 50 - Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Haitink
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 464714 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  John Shirley-Quirk
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Mahler: Symphonies 1 & 9, Etc / Masur, Hagegĺrd, Nypo
    Label: Ultima   Catalog: 21339 Release Date: 06/20/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 103.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9; Schubert: Symphony No 8 / Giulini
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463609 Release Date: 03/01/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9;  Hartmann: Adagio / Dohnányi
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 458902 Release Date: 04/13/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Karl Amadeus Hartmann,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9, Das Lied Von Der Erde / Haitink
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 462299 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  James King
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Mahler: Complete Symphonies & Orchestral Songs / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459080 Release Date: 11/10/1998   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  James King,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Trudeliese Schmidt,  Gerti Zeumer  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
    CD: $72.99
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  • 107.
    Bernstein Century - Mahler: Symphony No 9
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60597 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $8.99
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  • 108.
    Mitropoulos Conducts Mahler: Symphonies 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1021 Release Date: 07/21/1998   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Giuseppe Zampieri,  Hermann Prey,  Lucretia West,  Ira Malaniuk  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $58.99
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  • 109.
    Mahler: Symphonie No 9 / Boulez, Chicago So
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457581 Release Date: 03/17/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 110.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 9
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550535-36 Release Date: 01/03/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
    CD: $25.49
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  • 111.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Giuseppe Sinopoli, Philharmonia
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445817 Release Date: 08/25/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 112.
    Horenstein Conducts Mahler - Symphony No 9, Etc
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 5509 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Norman Foster
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Conducts And Talks About Mahler 9
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64452 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Karajan Gold - Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439024 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Scherchen, Vienna Symphony
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 228901 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 116.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Barshai, Moscow Radio So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 632 Release Date: 12/07/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 117.
    Mahler: The Symphonies / Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430804 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Heather Harper,  Arleen Augér,  Yvonne Minton  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $73.99
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