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MAHLER, Gustav
b Kaliste, Bohemia, 7 July 1860
d Vienna, 18 May 1911, aged fifty

Complicated family matters gave him a traumatic childhood, and the effects of this remained with him for the rest of his life. He gave a piano recital at the age of ten, and in 1875 went to the Vienna Conservatory, ending his studies there one year later, laden with honours. In the 1880s he became an opera conductor, working mainly in Leipzig and later in Budapest and Hamburg. In 1897 he went to Vienna to conduct Lohengrin, and became the artistic director of the Vienna Court Opera and of the Vienna Philharmonic. He married Alma Schindler, herself a fine musician, in 1902. In 1907 he left Vienna for the USA, lost his elder daughter, and discovered that he had a chronic heart condition. Nevertheless, in 1909 he conducted two opera productions for the Metropolitan and three concerts by the New York Symphony Orchestra, and followed this by taking over the conductorship of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. While conducting he was taken ill; he returned to Europe, and shortly afterwards died in Vienna. He had already made a draft and some notes about his tenth symphony, and since then there have been some inspired completions of it, notably by Deryck Cooke. His music fell into disfavour after his death, but in the 1950s came a much-deserved revival.

1880 (20)

Klagende Lieder

1882 (22)

Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit

1883 (23)

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, for voice and orchestra

1888 (28)

Lieder aus des Knaben Wunderhorn, song cycle for voice and orchestra

Symphony No 1 in D major

1894 (34)

Symphony No 2 in C minor, Resurrection, with final movement for soprano and contralto soloists, choir and orchestra

1895 (35)

Symphony No 3 in D minor, with final movement for contralto, boys' and female choruses and orchestra

1900 (40)

Symphony No 4 in G major, with final movement for soprano and orchestra

1902 (42)

Symphony No 5 in C sharp minor

Five Ruckert Songs

1904 (44)

Symphony No 6 in A minor

1905 (45)

Symphony No 7 in E minor

Kindertotenlieder, song cycle for voice and orchestra

1907 (47)

Symphony No 8 in E flat major, Symphony of a Thousand, with eight vocal soloists, two choruses, boys' chorus, organ and orchestra

1908 (48)

Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), song cycle of symphonic dimensions

1909 (49)

Symphony No 9 in D major

1910 (50)

Symphony No 10 begun, unfinished at Mahler's death (A completion was made in 1964 by Deryck Cooke which is now used as the performing version)

Visit Tony Duggan's Mahler Pages
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