Anton Schindler, Beethoven as I Knew Him, edited by Donald W. MacArdle, Courier Corporation, 1996 – 547 pages.
[Anton Schindler’s testimony should be handled cautiously. The relationship with Beethoven lasted less than three years. RB ]
For most of the last ten years of Beethoven’s life, Anton Schindler was closely associated with the composer as pupil, secretary, servant, and factotum. This relationship gave him an incomparable vantage point for writing a personalized, detailed biography of the great man. In 1840 Schindler published the first, hastily written version of the biography, which was translated into English the following year by Ignaz Moscheles, the eminent pianist and Beethoven disciple. It was not until 1860, however, that Schindler published a carefully written, thoroughly revised edition, containing a great deal of new material. It is this third edition that is reprinted here in an English translation by Constance S. Jolly. Extensively annotated by Beethoven scholar Donald W. MacArdle, this edition of the biography offers not only Schindler’s intimate view of the composer his music, how he was viewed by his contemporaries, his personality, deafness and irascible behavior, and other aspects of his daily life but incorporates 100 years of subsequent Beethoven research. The result is an indispensable source of information about one of history’s greatest musical geniuses a standard reference work as appealing to the general music lover as it is essential to the Beethoven scholar.