Anne de Fornel, Challenges of the short form in the Second Viennese School: A comparative study

From 1909 to 1914, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern devoted themselves to the composition of extremely short works. Based on a comparative study of Piece n. 12 from Pierrot Lunaire Op. 21 by Schoenberg, Piece III from Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano Op. 5 by Berg, and Bagatelle II from Six Bagatelles for String Quartet Op. 9 by Webern, we will examine the reasons that led to the creation of the aphoristic form as well as the resources these composers drew upon in order to write such innovative works. Be it a field of experimentation, the affirmation of a thought embedded in the large form, or a preferred means of expression, the aphoristic form incorporates several contrasting features and emerges as a decisive moment for the composers of the Second Viennese School.