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 7 / Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO
Release Date: 10/07/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002155002   Number of Discs: 1
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James Levine Conducts Mahler: Symphonies No 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 7686092   Number of Discs: 10
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Mahler: Lieder / Bernarda Fink
Release Date: 05/13/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902173   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Deyoung, Villars, Oue, Et Al
Release Date: 08/17/1999   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 88   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 4 / Bruno Walter, Vienna Philharmonic
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Andromeda  
Catalog: 5041   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor: 4th movement, Adagietto

Browse 1-25 of 145 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Strauss, Mahler - Masterworks / Haenchen, Sanderling, Tilson Thomas, Leinsdorf
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5133 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss,  Robert Schumann
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Kurt Sanderling,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,  La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Classic Karajan: The Essential Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002092702 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  José Carreras,  Ingrid Steger,  Lilo Brockhaus  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    100 Hits: Classical Greats
    Label: 100 Hits   Catalog: 1017490 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Myra Hess,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Myra Hess  ... 
    Conductor:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Members of the Vienna Octet (Members)
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  • 4.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1104380 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  John Newton,  César Franck,  Ludovico Einaudi,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Il Divo,  The Priests,  Einaudi,  Jonathan & Charlotte  ... 
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  • 5.
    Togni: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 1 / Aldo Orvieto
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572990 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camillo Togni,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Aldo Orvieto
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  • 6.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 1139364 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  John T. Williams,  Howard Shore,  Vangelis  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Doherty,  Mark Ayres,  Sally Herbert,  Roger Woodward  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Summerbell,  Zubin Mehta,  Nic Raine,  Paul Bateman  ... 
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  • 7.
    Solti Centenary Concert / Gheorghiu, Pape, Gergiev
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101668 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  René Pape,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Matilda Paulsson,  Tereza Gevorgyan  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Cristian Macelaru
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for Peace
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  • 8.
    Solti Centenary Concert / Gheorghiu, Pape, Gergiev [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108073 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  René Pape,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Tereza Gevorgyan,  Matilda Paulsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Cristian Macelaru
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for Peace
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 9.
    Top 50 Favourite Classical Chillout Tunes
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94659 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonín Dvorák,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Klára Würtz,  Sara Crombach,  Wladislav Warenberg,  Alexander Goldenweiser  ... 
    Conductor:  Dirk Vermeulen,  Paavo Järvi,  Roy Goodman,  Gil Sharon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prima La Musica,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hanover Band  ... 
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  • 10.
    Karajan Adagio: Music To Free Your Mind
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001805202 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Johann Pachelbel,  Gustav Mahler,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer,  Frank Maus,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 11.
    Label: Mood Media Entertainment   Catalog: 56931 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Claude Debussy,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Klára Körmendi,  Péter Nagy,  Judy Loman,  Nora Shulman  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Edlinger,  Christian Pollack,  Marin Alsop,  Jerzy Maksymiuk  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Aradia Ensemble,  Concentus Hungaricus
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  • 12.
    Discoveries / Gustavo Dudamel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001709702 Release Date: 09/25/2012  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Bruckner,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Discoveries / Gustavo Dudamel [CD + DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001725300 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Bruckner,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Illumina: Music Of Light
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 2758053 Release Date: 04/02/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Barrington Pheloung,  Morten Lauridsen,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  George Coltart,  Rachel Wick,  Adrian Hutton,  David Lee  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Higginbottom
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  • 15.
    Icon - Bruno Walter: The Early Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 6790262 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Bruno Walter,  Lauritz Melchior,  Alfred Jerger,  Emanuel List  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  British Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $62.49
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  • 16.
    Mahler: Adagietto From Symphony No 5 / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6027485 Release Date: 03/13/2012  
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Classical Hits Of The Cinema
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 30756 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Piotr Anderszewski,  Christian Zacharias
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Lorin Maazel,  Andrew Litton,  Piotr Anderszewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    The Mahler Album / Candida Thompson, Amsterdam Sinfonietta
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 31511 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Candida Thompson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
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  • 19.
    Legendes
    Label: Centaur Classics   Catalog: 98213153 Release Date: 12/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marcel Grandjany,  Reinhold Gliere,  Rudolf Ewald Zingel,  Alfred Holy  ... 
    Performer:  Matthew Larkin,  Caroline Léonardelli
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  • 20.
    Mahler: Symphony No 1; Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel / Leinsdorf
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5051 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 21.
    50 Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 109 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden,  Pieter Schoeman,  Peter Schmalfuss  ... 
    Conductor:  Heribert Beissel,  David Parry,  Ilmar Lapinsch,  Klaus Arp  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 23.
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 104 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maria Theresia Paradis,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edvard Grieg,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Craig Ogden,  Finghin Collins
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  • 24.
    Sensual Classics: Desire
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300254 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Antonín Dvorák,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Annerose Schmidt
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Herbert Kegel,  Arthur Apelt,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
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  • 25.
    Classics At The Movies
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764553 Release Date: 08/16/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Giacomo Puccini,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Isador Goodman,  Yvonne Kenny,  Jane Sheldon,  Lauris Elms  ... 
    Conductor:  Patrick Thomas,  Wlodzimierz Kamirski,  William Motzing,  David Measham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantillation,  Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players
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