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Object #33 / Arnold Schönberg: String Quartet No. 2, op. 10

Text: Stefan George
Completion of the first written copy
September 1, 1907

Arnold Schönberg Center, Wien

The String Quartet No. 2, op. 10, which Schönberg composed in 1907 and 1908, partly while at Lake Traun, forms a milestone not just in the history of his composing, but also in the development of New Music as a whole. It represents the transition from tonal to atonal composition, and also an extension of the genre (the soprano added in the 3rd and 4th movements relaxes standard string quartet scoring).
“The fourth movement, ‘Entrückung’ [Rapture], begins with an introduction depicting the departure from earth to another planet. The visionary poet foretold here sensations which perhaps soon will be affirmed. Becoming relieved from gravitation, passing through clouds into thinner and thinner air – forgetting all the trouble of life on earth – that is attempted to be illustrated.” (Arnold Schönberg, Introduction to the Four Quartets, 1949)

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