Leonard Bernstein’s Definitive Cycle of Mahler Symphonies

A Viewing Guide

Often regarded as Gustav Mahler’s foremost interpreter, Leonard Bernstein’s full cycle of the revered composer’s symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra is an extraordinary listening and learning experience for all. Carnegie Hall+ offers a rare look at Bernstein’s intense and joyful interpretation of Mahler’s symphonic masterpieces, from the Adagio of his never completed Tenth Symphony—new to the channel this month—to the composer’s self-proclaimed best work, the Seventh Symphony. Don’t miss a single moment!

Check out sneak previews of these programs below and start watching.

Mahler’s First Symphony

Early works can provide glimpses of the mature composer to come, but Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 is the rare example of an early work that bears the artist’s distinct signature, here conducted by Mahler champion Leonard Bernstein.

London Symphony Orchestra: Mahler’s Resurrection

Led by Leonard Bernstein, soprano Sheila Armstrong and mezzo-soprano Janet Baker join the London Symphony Orchestra for Mahler’s musical contemplation on life and death in his Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection.”

Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler’s Third conducted by Leonard Bernstein

From Leonard Bernstein’s groundbreaking Mahler cycle, this Vienna Philharmonic performance of the composer’s longest work—the exalted Third Symphony—features mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig and the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler's Fourth Symphony

Leonard Bernstein’s pioneering Mahler cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic includes this performance of the radiant Fourth Symphony, featuring soprano Edith Mathis in the final movement, depicting a child’s vision of heaven.

Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler's Fifth Symphony

Leonard Bernstein was one of the leading Mahler interpreters and the first conductor to record all the composer’s symphonies. Here he leads the Vienna Philharmonic in Mahler’s Fifth, with its dramatic trajectory from mourning to triumph.

Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler’s Sixth Symphony

From the opening march to the fateful hammer blows of the finale, Mahler’s Sixth Symphony traverses a vast emotional terrain, charted here by the Vienna Philharmonic as part of Leonard Bernstein’s legendary cycle.

Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler’s Seventh

Mahler called this five-movement symphony, which evokes nature and the night, his best work—though it is not among his best-known. This performance comes from the Vienna Philharmonic’s pioneering Mahler cycle with Leonard Bernstein.

Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler’s Eighth conducted by Leonard Bernstein

“All Mahler symphonies … deal in extremes,” said Leonard Bernstein. When he recorded the Eighth for his pioneering cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic, the stage of Vienna’s Konzerthaus had to be enlarged to fit the sprawling cast.

Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler’s Ninth

Mahler’s complex and valedictory Ninth Symphony takes the listener on a rich and rewarding emotional journey. The Vienna Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein made this recording in 1971 at the outset of their fabled Mahler cycle.

Vienna Phil: Adagio From Mahler’s Tenth

Mahler completed only one movement of his Tenth Symphony, the moving Adagio. This performance comes from the Vienna Philharmonic's seminal Mahler cycle with Leonard Bernstein.

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