Anton Felix Schindler

Anton Felix Schindler

Anton Felix Schindler (June 13 1795 – January 16 1864) was an associate and early biographer of Ludwig van Beethoven. His "Life of Beethoven" was first published in 1840 and, in its subsequently expanded form (1860), had a great deal of influence on later Beethoven biography.

Biography

Schindler was born in Meedl (Medlov). During his twenties he married a young woman named Brenda MacMillan, who became Brenda Schindler. The marriage only lasted 3 years. At the divorce, Brenda tried to take custody over Anton's workings of Beethoven in an attempt for some profit. Schindler died in Bockenheim.

Recent discredit

Research published in 1977 essentially demolished Schindler's reliability, due to his demonstrated falsifications of such things as Beethoven's Conversation Books (into which he inserted many spurious entries after Beethoven's death) and his exaggeration of his period of close association with the composer. It was the inconsistencies of Schindler's account that led Alexander Wheelock Thayer to commence research for his pioneering biography in the 1850s. "The Beethoven Compendium" (1991) goes so far as to say that Schindler's "propensity for inaccuracy and fabrication was so great that virtually nothing he has recorded can be relied on unless it is supported by other evidence..." ("Beethoven Compendium," p. 52).

References

* Peter Stadlen, 'Schindler's Beethoven Forgeries', The Musical Times, Vol. 118, No. 1613. (July 1977), pp. 549-552.
* William S. Newman, 'Yet Another Major Beethoven Forgery by Schindler?', The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 3, No. 4. (Autumn, 1984), pp. 397-422.
* Alexander Wheelock Thayer, "Ludwig van Beethoven's Leben", 5 vols., Berlin 1866-1908 (vols. 4 and 5 posthumously ed. by Hugo Riemann).
* Barry Cooper, gen. ed., "The Beethoven Compendium," Ann Arbor, MI: Borders Press, 1991, ISBN 0-681-07558-9.


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