Schoenberg used to tell a story about his extremely unmilitary war service in the Austrian army during World War I, when an officer asked if he was “that notorious composer”. “Well, Sir, it was like this:” replied Private Schoenberg in broad Viennese dialect, “somebody ‘ad to take on the job, and nobody else was willing, so I got landed with it meself.”

Mostly inGermany, America
Best known for Pierrot Lunaire, Kammersymphonie, Verklärte nacht, Gurrelieder, Moses und Aron, Erwartung
Similar toAlban Berg, Anton Webern, Alexander Zemlinsky

Not everybody felt that “somebody had to take on the job” – essentially, of trying to bring a new kind of order to music after the glorious indulgence...