This chapter describes various pieces of a heterogeneous collection that receive scant notice from most commentators. In general they are regarded as mere footnotes to Schoenberg’s main creative work; but in fact they all have intrinsic interest, and help round-out the picture of their composer, especially in his lighter moods. Schoenberg’s most numerous “occasional” works were canons, vocal or instrumental. Like Bach or Brahms before him, he wrote many of these throughout his career; sometimes simply, one suspects, to keep his hand in with a little “tonal” composition in the old style, sometimes as riddles or as greetings or presents for friends, often fitted with whimsical texts of his own devising.
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