Listening Guide

Works by Gustav Mahler


Mahler Conducting Sheet

The recordings listed below were compiled by Lewis Smoley, vice president and author of a two-volume set of critical commentary on all recordings of Mahler’s symphonies, and Ben Pernick, chief commentator on Mahler recordings for Fanfare magazine. Recommended recordings are limited to those currently listed in the Schwann Opus catalogue, with a few exceptions. Listings within each category are in alphabetical order by conductor.


Symphony No. 1:

Bernstein/Royal Concertgebouw (DG 427303-2)

Eschenbach/Houston SO (Koch 3-7405-2H1)

Horenstein/Vienna SO (2-Vox Box CDX 2 5508)

Judd/Florida PO (Collins Quest COL 3005)

Kubelik/Bavarian RSO (DG 449735-2)


Symphony No. 2:

Armstrong, Baker, Bernstein/LSO (DG Video 072200-3)

Valente, Forrester, Kaplan/LSO (2-Conifer Classics 75605-51277-2)

Harper, Baker, Klemperer/Bavarian RSO (EMI 66867 2)

Mathis, Procter, Kubelik/Bavarian RSO (10-DG 429042-2)

Cundari, Forrester, Walter/NYPO (Odyssey YT 30848)


Symphony No. 3:

Ludwig, Bernstein/NYPO (2-DG 427328-2)

Lipton, Bernstein/NYPO (2-Sony Classics SM2K 47576)

Procter, Horenstein/LSO (2-Unicorn-Kanchana UK CD 2006/07)

Schwarz, Sinopoli/Philharmonia Orch. (2-DG 447 051)

Baker, Thomas/LSO (2-Sony M2K 44553)


Symphony No. 4:

Loose, Kletzki/Philharmonia Orch. (Royal Classics ROY 6468)

Battle, Maazel/VPO (CBS/Sony MDK 44908)

Hendricks, Salonen/LAPO (Sony Classical SK 48380)

Raskin, Szell/Cleveland Orch. (Sony Classical SBK 46535)


Symphony No. 5:

Bernstein/VPO (DG 423608-2)

Boulez/VPO (DG 453416-2)

Chailly/Royal Concertgebouw Orch. (London 289458860)

Solti/CSO (London Jubilee 430443)

Tennstedt/LPO (EMI CDC 49888)


Symphony No. 6:

Bernstein/VPO (2-DG 427697-2)

Zander/BPO (2-IMP DMCD 93)


Symphony No. 7:

Bernstein/NYPO (Sony SMK 60564)

Bernstein/NYPO (2-DG 419211-2)

Horenstein/New Philharmonia Orch. (Music & Arts MUA 727)


Symphony No.8:

Soloists, Choruses, Bernstein/VPO (DG Video 072-216-3)

Soloists, Chorus, Olson/MahlerFest (2-MahlerFest MF8-1)

Soloists, Choruses, Solti/CSO (2-London 414493-2)

Soloists, Choruses,Tennstedt/LPO (2-EMI Classics CDCB 47625)


Das Lied von der Erde:

King, Fischer-Dieskau, Bernstein/VPO (London 417783)

Hodgson, Mitchinson, Horenstein/BBC Northern (Music & Arts MUA 728)

Ludwig, Wunderlich, Klemperer/Philharmonia Orch. (EMI Classics CDC 47231)

Ferrier, Patzak, Walter/NYPO (London 414194-2)

Miller, Haefliger, Walter/CSO (CBS MK 42034)


Symphony No. 9:

Bernstein/Royal Concertgebouw (2-DG 419208-2)

Bernstein/BPO (2-DG 435378-2)

Karajan/BPO (2-DG 439024-2)

Lopez-Cobos/Cincinnati SO (2-Telarc CD 80426)

Walter/VPO (1938) (EMI Classics CDH 63029)

Walter/CSO (2-CBS M2K 42033)


Symphony No. 10 (Cooke version):

Chailly/Berlin RSO (2-London 421 182-2)

Ormandy/Philadelphia Orch. (CBS MPK 45882)

Sanderling/Berlin Symphony (Ars Vivendi 2100225)



Ferrier, Walter/VPO (EMI Classics CDH 61003)

Baker, Barbirolli/Halle Orch. (EMI Classics CDC 47793) (EMI Classics CDZB 62707)

Fischer-Dieskau, Böhm/BPO (DG 415 191-2)


Das klagende Lied:

Lear, Söderström, Hoffman, Burrows, Haefliger, Nienstedt, Boulez/LSO & Chorus (Sony Classical SK 45841)

Shaguch, DeYoung, Moser, Leiferkus, Thomas/SFSO & Chorus (RCA 09026-68599-2)


Des Knaben Wunderhorn:

Ludwig, Berry, Bernstein (CBS MK 42202)

Forrester, Rehfuss, Prohaska/Vienna Festival (Vanguard Classics OVC 4045)

Schwarzkopf, Fischer-Dieskau, Szell/LSO (EMI Classics CDC 47277)


Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen:

Baker, Barbirolli/Halle Orch. (EMI Classics CDC 47793) (EMI Classics CDZB 62707)

Fischer-Dieskau, Böhm/BPO (DG 415 191-2)

Von Stade, Davis/LPO (Sony Classical SBK 46535)



Baker, Barbirolli/Halle Orch. (EMI Classics CDC 47793) (EMI Classics CDZB 62707)

Ferrier, Walter/VPO (London 448150-2)

Hampson, Rieger (piano) (EMI Classics CDC 56443)