Gustav Mahler

Mahler was born into a Jewish family in Kaliste, Bohemia. His parents moved to Jihlava, Moravia in the first year of his life, where Mahler spent his childhood. In 1875 he was admitted to the Vienna Conservatoire where he studied piano under Julius Epstein. Subsequently, Mahler attended lectures given by Anton Bruckner at Vienna University. His first major attempt at composition came with Das Klagende Lied which he entered in a competition as an opera (he later turned it into a cantata). However, he was unsuccessful, and turned his attention to conducting. After his first conducting job at Bad Hall, he took posts at a succession of increasingly larger opera houses; Ljubljana in 1881, Olomouc in 1882, Kassel in 1884, Prague in 1885, Leipzig in 1886 and Budapest in 1891. He then secured his first long-term post at the Hamburg Opera in 1891, where he stayed until 1897. While there, he took his summer vacations at Steinbach-am-Attersee, during which he concentrated on composition. He completed his Symphony No. 1 and the Lieder aus 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn' in this period.In 1897, Mahler converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism in order to secure a post as artistic director of the prestigious Vienna Court Opera (Jews were virtually prohibited from holding the post at that time). For the next ten years he stayed at Vienna, where he was noted as a great perfectionist. He ran the Opera for nine months of the year, spending the other three composing, mainly at Maiernigg, where he had a small house on the Woerthersee. There he composed his symphonies 4 through 8, as well as the 5 Ruckert-Lieder, the Kindertotenlieder and his last song from texts in Des Knaben Wunderhorn entitled 'Der Tambourg'sell'. He married Alma Schindler (1879 -1964) in 1902. They had two daughters, Anna (1904 -1988) who later became a sculptor, and Maria Anna (1902 -1907) who died of scarlet fever or diphtheria in 1907. In the same year he discovered he had heart disease (infective endocarditis), and he lost his job at Vienna, hounded out by a largely anti-semitic press after trying to promote his own music, which was not well received on the whole. While his 4th Symphony was well received by some, not until the performance of his Symphony No. 8 in 1910 did Mahler have a true public success with his music. The pieces he wrote after that were not performed in his lifetime.Mahler was coming under increasingly virulent anti-semitic attacks - in 1907 these became almost unbearable - when Mahler received an offer to conduct Metropolitan Opera in New York. He conducted a season there in 1908, only to be set aside in favor of Arturo Toscanini. Mahler returned to New York the next year to become conductor of the newly formed New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Around this time, he completed Das Lied von der Erde, and the Symphony No. 9, which turned out to be his last completed work. During his last visit to America in February 1911, he fell seriously ill and was taken back to Vienna at his request.He died there from a streptococcus infection on May 18, 1911 in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Austria), leaving his tenth symphony incomplete. His last word was: 'Mozart'. He is buried in Vienna, in the Grinzinger Cemetery.
Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1884-1910 Complete Symphonies 1 - 9 4.50 out of 5 stars 10 CD

Comments:

Kiri te Kanawa
Yvonne Minton
Helen Watts
Heather Harper
Martti Talvela
John Shirley-Quirk
Rene Kollo
Lucia Popp
Arleen Auger
Chicago Symphony Orchstra cond. Georg Solti

1884-1910 Complete Symphonies 1 - 9 and Adagio from Nr. 10 4.50 out of 5 stars 12 CD

Comments:

Jenny Tourel
Lee Venora
Martha Lipton
Stuart Gardner
John Ware
Reri Grist
James Chambers
Donald Hunt
Gwenyth Jones
Donald McIntyre
John Mitchinson
Norma Procter
Anna Reynolds
Erna Spoorenberg
Hans Vollenweider
Gwenyth Annaer
Sheila Mossman
Vladimir Ruzdjak
London Symphony Orchestra (8)
New York Philharmonic cond. Leonard Bernstein

1884-1910 Complete Symphonies 1- 10 4.00 out of 5 stars 10 CD
Gustav Mahler - Das Klagende Lied

Comments:

The Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Riccardo Chailly

According to Comments, Chailly emphasizes the modernity of Mahler's symphonies. I am very curious. How do we merge Das Knaben Wunderhorn with Avant-garde? This will take some time to form an opinion.

To begin with, I will give a figure on the scale from 1 to 10:

Symphony No 1  - 7
Symphony No 2  - 7
Symphony No 3  - 6.5 (First movement could have been written by Ives, in this interpretation)
Symphony No 4  - 7.5
Symphony No 5  - 9
Symphony No 6  - 8 (Scary. Let's call it GI's in Baghdad.)
Symphony No 7 - 8.5 (An early recording by Chailly and the CO. Is that why it sounds more conventional the the other symphonies, I listened to, so far.)
Symphony No 8  - 7.5 (Tausend? The counter stopped at 980)

Rest will follow.

1879-1880 (rev 1901) Das Klagende Lied 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Das Klagende Lied

Comments:

Anna Reynonlds - Mezzo Soprano
Teresa Zylis-Gara - Soprano
Andor Kaposy - Tenor
The Ambrosian Singers
New Philharmonic Orchestra London cond. Wyn Morris

1883-1885 Lieder eines fahrenden Gestellen 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Comments:

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Baritone

London Philharmonia Orchestra cond. Wilhelm Furtwängler

1883-1885 Lieder eines fahrenden Gestellen 3.50 out of 5 stars 2CD
Gustav Mahler - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Comments:

Hermann Prey - Baritone

Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Bernard Haitink

1884-1888 Symphony No 1 3.50 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Comments:

Yet another Supraphon wonder.

Czech Philhamonic Orchestra cond. Karel Ancerl

1884-1888 Symphony No 1 5.0  out of 5 stars CD

Comments:

The same recording as above

Czech Philhamonic Orchestra cond. Karel Ancerl

1884-1888 Symphony No 1 4.50 stars 7 CD
Comments:
Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Bernard Haitink
1884-1888 Symphony No 1 4.00 out of 5 stars DVD-R
Comments:
BBC Symphony Orchestra cond. Marin Alsop

Recorded from the BBC Proms 2015

1887-1894 Symphony No. 2 Auferstehung 4.50 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No 2 Resurrection [Georg Solti]

Comments:

Heather Harper - Soprano
Helen Watts - Mezzo Soprano

London Symphony Orchestra cond. Georg Solti

1887-1894 Symphony No. 2 Auferstehung 4.00 out of 5 stars DVD
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No 2 Resurrection

Comments:

Karina Gauvin - Soprano
Yvonne Naef - Mezzo Soprano

WDR Symphony Orchestra cond. Symyon Buchkov

Dolby Surround recording from WDR 3 TV

1887-1894 Symphony No. 2 Auferstehung 4.50 out of 5 stars BD-R

Comments:

Ricarda Merbeth - Soprano
Bernarda Fink - Mezzo Soprano
Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Mariss Jansons

RCO Production recorded from Dutch public TV

1893-1896 Symphony No. 3 4.50 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Symphonie No 3 D-Moll [Bernard Haitink]

Comments:

Maureen Forrester - Contra Alto

Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Bernard Haitink

1893-1896 Symphony No. 3 4.50 out of 5 stars BD-R

Comments:

Anna Larsson - Mezzo Soprano

Lucerne Festival Orchestra cond. Claudio Abbado

Retrieved from: Youtube https://youtu.be/Xplx64LVENg 720p

1899-1901 Symphony No. 4 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Symphony Nr. 4 (Bernard Haitink, Amsterdam CO, Roberta Alexander)

Comments:

Roberta Alexander - Soprano

Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Bernard Haitink

Comments:

Emmy Loose - Soprano

Philharmonia Orchestra cond. Paul Kletzki

1892-1901 Des Knaben Wunderhorn 5.00 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Des Knaben Wunderhorn [Schwarzkopf / Fischer-Dieskau]

Comments:

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Soprano
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Baritone

London Symphony Orchestra cond. George Szell

1892-1901 Des Knaben Wunderhorn 4.50 out of 5 stars 2CD
Gustav Mahler - Des Knaben Wunderhorn [Schwarzkopf / Fischer-Dieskau]

Comments:

Jessye Norman - Alto
John Shirley-Quirk - Tenor

Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Bernard Haitink

1892-1901 Des Knaben Wunderhorn 4.50 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Des Knaben Wunderhorn [Janet Baker / Geraint Evans]

Comments:

Janet Baker - Alto
Geraint Evans - Tenor

London Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Wyn Morris

1901-1902 Symphony No. 5 3.50 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 5 [Bernstein - NY Philharmonic]

Comments:

New York Philharmonic cond. Leonard Bernstein

1901-1902 Symphony No. 5 3.50 out of 5 stars CD

Comments:

London Symphony Orchestra cond. Rudolf Schwartz

1901-1902 Symphony No. 5 3.50 out of 5 stars DVD-R

Comments:

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Zubin Mehta

Recorded from Mezzo TV

1901 Rückert Lieder 4.50 out of 5 stars CD
Gustav Mahler - Symphonie No. 6; Rückert Lieder (C. Abbado, Chicago SO / DGG)

Comments:

Hanna Schwarz alto

Chicago Symphony Orchestra cond. Claudio Abbado

1901-1904 Kindertoterlieder 3.50 out of 5 stars 12 CD

Comments:

Janet Baker- Mezzo-Soprano

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Leonard Bernstein

1901-1904 Kindertoterlieder 3.50 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 5 [Bernstein - NY Philharmonic]

Comments:

Jenny Tourel - Mezzo-Soprano

New York Philharmonic cond. Leonard Bernstein

1901-1904 Kindertoterlieder 4.50 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Comments:

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Baritone

Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Rudof Kempe

1901-1904 Kindertoterlieder 4.50 out of 5 stars CD

Comments:

Marjana Lipovsek - Soprano

Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Claudio Abbado

1901-1904 Kindertoterlieder 4.50 out of 5 stars 2CD
Gustav Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde (Philharmonia Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra; Klemperer, Ludwig, Wunderlich)

Comments:

Hermann Prey - Baritone

Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Bernard Haitink

1903-1905 Symphony No 6 4.50 out of 5 stars CD
Gustav Mahler - Symphonie No. 6; Rückert Lieder (C. Abbado, Chicago SO / DGG)

Comments:

Chicago Symphony Orchestra cond. Claudio Abbado

1903-1905 Symphony No 6 4.50 out of 5 stars 2LP

Comments:

Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam cond. Bernard Haitink

1903-1905 Symphony No 6 4.50 out of 5 stars DVD

Comments:

A great enterpretation!

Live from BBC 4

London Symphony Orchestra cond. Valery Gergiev

1904-1906   Symphony No. 7 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde (Philharmonia Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra; Klemperer, Ludwig, Wunderlich)

Comments:

New York Philharmonic cond.Leonard Bernstein

1906-1907 Symphony No. 8 4.50 out of 5 stars CD
Gustav Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde (Philharmonia Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra; Klemperer, Ludwig, Wunderlich)

Comments:

Erna Spoorenberg - Soprano
Gwyneth Jones - Soprano
Gwenyth Annaer - Soprano
Anna Reynolds - Alto
Norma Procter - Alto
John Michilson - Tenor
Vladimir Ruzdiak - Baritone
Donald NcIntyre - Bass

Choirs, London Symphony Orchestra cond. Leonard Bernstein

1906-1907 Symphony No. 8 4.50 out of 5 stars DVD-R

Comments:

Solists
Choirs
BBC Symphony Orchestra cond. Jiri Belohlavek

Recorded from BBC Proms 2010

1906-1907 Symphony No. 8 4.50 out of 5 stars DVD-R

Comments:

Erika SUNNEGARDH,
Ricarda MERBERTH,
Christiane OELZE,
Lioba BRAUN,
Gerhild ROMBERGER,
Stephen GOULD,
Dietrich HENSCHEL,
Georg ZEPPENFELDMDR Rundfunkchor,
Chor der Oper Leipzig,
Gewandhauschor,
Thomanerchor Leipzig,
Gewandhaus Kinderchor,
Gewandhausorchester cond Ricardp Chailly

Recorded from BRAVAKLASSIEK TV The Netherlands

1907-1909 Das Lied von der Erde 5.00 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde (Philharmonia Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra; Klemperer, Ludwig, Wunderlich)

Comments:

This is very profound music performed by top artists:

Christa Ludwig - Alto
Fritz Wunderlich - Tenor
New Philharmonia Orchestra cond. Otto Klemperer

1907-1909 Das Lied von der Erde 5.00 out of 5 stars 2CD
Gustav Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde (Philharmonia Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra; Klemperer, Ludwig, Wunderlich)

Comments:

Janet Baker - Alto
James KIng - Tenor
Concertgebouworkest cond. Bernard Haitink

1907-1909 Das Lied von der Erde 4.50 out of 5 stars SACD

Comments:

Maureen Forrester - Alto
Richard Lewis - Tenor
Chicago Symphony orchestra cond. Fritz Reiner

1907-1909 Das Lied von der Erde 4.50 out of 5 stars CD

Comments:

Kamerorkestversie uit 1921 van Arnold Schoenberg.
Werd later voltooid door Rainer Riehn (ca. 1986)

Birgit Remmert - Alto
Hand Peter Blochwitz - Tenor
Ensemble Musique Oblique cond. Philippe Herreweghe

1909-1910 Symphony No. 9 4.50 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 9

Comments:

London Symphony Orchestra cond. Georg Solti

1909-1910 Symphony No. 9 4.00 out of 5 stars DVD-R

Comments:

Nat. Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
cond. Sir Mark Elder

Recorded from BBC Proms 2015

1909-1910 Symphony No. 10 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 9

Comments:

Philadelphia Orchestra cond. Eugene Ormandy

Compilation Lieder und Gesaenge 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 9 Comments:
Frühlingsmorgen
Erinnerung
Hans und Grete
Serenade from Don Juan
Don Juan Phantasie
Um schlimme Kinder Artig zu machen
Ich ging mit Lust
Aus! Aus!
Starke Einbildungskraft
Zu Straßburg auf der Schanz'
Ablösung im Sommer
Scheiden und Meiden
Nicht wiedersehen!
Selbstgefühl

Angelika Kirchschlager - Mezzo Soprano
Helmut Deutsch - Piano

Compilation Songs of Youth 4.50 out of 5 stars CD

Comments:

Hans und Grete  
Winterlied  
Im Lenz  

Lieder und Gesaenge aus der Jugendzeit
-
Serenade aus Don Juan  
-
Frühlingsmorgen 
- Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grünen Wald 
-
Starke Einbildungskraft  
-
Erinnerung  
-
Selbstgefühl  
-
Nicht wiedersehen! 
-
Um schlimme Kinder artig zu machen  
-
Aus! Aus!  
-
Zu Strassburg auf der Schanz  
-
Scheiden und Meiden  
-
Phantasie aus Don Juan  
-
Ablösung im Sommer  

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
- Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht
- Ging heut' morgen über's Feld
- Ich hab' ein glühend Messer
- Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz

Janet Baker - Mezzo Soprano
Geoffrey Parsons - Piano