Gustav Mahler


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
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: 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 4; Berg: 7 Early Songs / Bonney, Chailly
Release Date: 12/06/1999   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 466720   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Symphony no 3 / Salonen, Larsson, Los Angeles PO
Release Date: 03/17/1998   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 60250   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor: 4th movement, Adagietto

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  • 51.
    Meditation Classics / Masur, Suitner, Neumann, Bongartz,  Weigle, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184572 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Egon Morbitzer,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Oskar Michallik,  Hans Pischner  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Heinz Bongartz,  Otmar Suitner,  Walter Levin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Berlin Radio Music School Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    After Work Hour - Classical Music Selection 4
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 182762 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Funke,  Siegfried Stockigt,  Egon Morbitzer
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Heinz Bongartz,  Hans Vonk,  Herbert Kegel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
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  • 53.
    40 Most Beautiful Love Themes - Vivaldi, Mozart, Debussy, Etc / Mehta, Ristenpart, Haitink, Scimone, Masur, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 511598 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Alessandro Marcello,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin,  Cyprien Katsaris,  Alessio Bax,  Chloë Hanslip  ... 
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal,  Armin Jordan,  Paul Mann,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Basel Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 54.
    Basics - Meditation - Music To Dream To / Blomstedt, Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8574 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Charles Gounod,  Maurice Ravel,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Pischner,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Egon Morbitzer,  Rolf-Dieter Arens  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Heinz Rögner,  Robert Hanell,  Günther Herbig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Solistenvereinigung  ... 
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  • 55.
    Classic Hits, Vol. 1
    Label: Bell'art   Catalog: 768332 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Bedrich Smetana,  Pietro Mascagni,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
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  • 56.
    Ultimate Classical Relaxation - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001079002 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha,  Neil Black,  Tess Miller,  Carmel Kaine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger,  Sir Neville Marriner,  András Schiff,  Thurston Dart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe  ... 
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  • 57.
    Unforgettable - Music From Movies
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5119 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
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  • 58.
    Classical Ecstasy - Classics For A New Age
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 23041 Release Date: 02/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Johann Pachelbel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Leontyne Price,  Paul Nicholson,  Richard Stoltzman,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Robert Salter,  Alexander Schneider,  Renato Cellini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  Guildhall String Ensemble,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    Barbiroli - New York Philharmonic - Live Recordings 1937-43
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2330/31 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Claude Debussy,  Charles Tomlinson Griffes  ... 
    Performer:  Gaspar Cassadó,  Albert Spalding
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 60.
    Moments Of Peace
    Label: Charles Suniga   Catalog: 1267 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Suniga,  Josef Strauss,  Jules Massenet,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Charles Suniga,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Christina Funke
    Conductor:  Manfred Honeck,  Kurt Masur,  Franz Konwitschny,  Herbert Kegel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    Classical Love
    Label: Metro   Catalog: 1205621 Release Date: 09/04/2007  
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Joseph Canteloube,  Kosaku Yamada  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Lily Laskine,  Ayako Shinozaki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra,  I Solisti Italiani,  (I) Solisti Italiani Choir
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  • 62.
    Simply Classical Chillout
    Label: Union Square   Catalog: 1206045 Release Date: 09/04/2007  
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Ferdinand Leitner
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  • 63.
    Classique & Zen
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5097 Release Date: 08/28/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer,  Philippe Jaroussky,  Anne Gastinel,  Claire Désert  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Spinosi,  Rolf Lislevand,  Howard Griffiths,  Rinaldo Alessandrini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mosaďques String Quartet,  Matheus Ensemble,  Ensemble Kapsberger
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  • 64.
    Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Mahler / Willem Mengelberg, Et Al
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2067 Release Date: 08/21/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Cinema Classics
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8571090 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Giacomo Puccini,  Carl Orff,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Miriam Gauci,  Nicola Martinucci,  Yordy Ramiro,  Idil Biret  ... 
    Conductor:  Zdenek Kosler,  Alexander Rahbari,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Antoni Wit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Mozart Academy
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  • 66.
    Label: Octave, Les Productions   Catalog: 23326 Release Date: 03/22/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  François Couperin,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Marcelle Meyer,  Andrés Segovia,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Baumgartner,  Eduard Van Beinum,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Wilhelm Furtwängler  ... 
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  • 67.
    Willem Mengelberg - Beethoven, Schubert, Weber, Et Al
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1078 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Best Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70853 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gioachino Rossini,  Alexander Borodin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Henriette Puig-Roget,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Musicum,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Polish Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 69.
    A Musical Moment
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1159 Release Date: 08/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig Senfl,  Gabriel Fauré,  Gustav Mahler,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Lynda Sayce,  Martin Vishnik,  Sam Piha,  Ilia Ioff  ... 
    Conductor:  Anton Nanut,  Richard Wagner
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  • 70.
    Peaceful Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000703002 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Erik Satie,  Maurice Ravel,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Pascal Rogé,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Sir Colin Davis,  Charles Dutoit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 71.
    Schubert: Der Tod Und Das Madchen / Kofman, Kiev Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9011315 Release Date: 06/27/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Roman Kofman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kiev Chamber Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Relaxing & Guitar Classics You Love
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 95801 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Charles Gounod,  Pietro Mascagni,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
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  • 73.
    Sileo - Music Of Serenity - Schubert, Barber, Brahms, Et Al
    Label: Art   Catalog: 8285 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Samuel Barber,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Sebastian Knauer,  Jan Vogler,  Peter Rösel,  Renate Schorler  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Sanderling,  Kurt Sanderling,  Heinz Bongartz,  Rolf Kleinert  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Gaia Scienza,  Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 74.
    Gemini - Mahler: Symphony No 4, Lied Von Der Erde / Kletzki
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76912 Release Date: 02/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Emmy Loose,  Murray Dickie,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5036 Release Date: 02/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Philip Glass,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Laurent Cabasso,  Lina Mkrtchyan,  Evgeni Talisman,  Adele Anthony  ... 
    Conductor:  Takuo Yuasa,  Laurence Equilbey,  Rinaldo Alessandrini,  Jorma Panula  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ulster Orchestra,  Accentus,  Concerto Italiano  ... 
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