Arnold Schoenberg

Verklärte Nacht, op. 4

         While he was the leader of the musical revolution centered in Vienna in the early twentieth century, whose precepts led to completely new foundations for the composition of music, Arnold Schoenberg certainly possessed nothing of the personal aura of a revolutionary.  Born into a poor family of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and almost completely self-taught as a composer, he struggled most of his life to provide for his family as a teacher of music theory and composition.   He was a quiet, intellectual, and somewhat dogmatic man, and certainly realized that, for all of his wide reputation and approval by eminent musicians, he could never hope to earn a living from compositions, alone.  Audience and critics’ reactions to his challenging musical style saw to that.  He limped along f