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Maximilian Schwedler (1853-1940)

Schwedler was Germany's last major exponent of the conical-bore simple-system or Meyer flute, which he played in his own 'reformed' models as principal flautist in the Gewandhaus Orchestra (1881-1917), and taught at the Leipzig Conservatory (1908-32).

Schwedler devised several modifications of the Meyer flute between 1885 and 1898 with the aim of improving its mechanism, response, and intonation while preserving its traditional sound. Various Schwedler models were built by F.W. Kruspe, Carl Kruspe Jr., and Moritz Max Mönnig. In 1897 he published a treatise on his aesthetic of flute-playing, Katechismus.

Like many German musicians of the time Schwedler placed a high value on the history and traditions of music-making he had inherited. His interests in early music were reflected in pioneering performances on one-keyed traverso with gamba and harpsochird in 1892 and in his numerous, heavily annotated and even partially rewritten, editions of early flute repertory.

Chapter 10, 'Nineteenth-century eclecticism', of Ardal Powell's The Flute (Yale University Press, 2002) contains more information on this topic.

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