The songs were composed separately, even though they were published as a set. The first song was finished in October 6, 1913; the second one was composed between November 30 and December 3, 1914; the third one was composed between December 3, 1914, and January 1, 1915; and, after a hiatus, the fourth one was composed between July 19 and 28, 1916. These songs were the last works that Schoenberg was to write in the freely atonal style. After finishing this composition, Schoenberg would complete no new works for seven years, when he composed the Five Piano Pieces, Op. 23. During this compositional hiatus, he would develop the twelve-tone technique; thereafter, he would compose mainly (though not exclusively) using the twelve-note method. It was premiered in February 21, 1932, in Frankfurt am Main, conducted by Hans Rosbaud with soprano Hertha Reinecke. The second movement was dedicated to student and fellow composer Anton Webern. It was eventually published by Universal Edition in Vienna, in November 7, 1917.

Librettist Ernest Christopher Dowson and Rainer Maria Rilke
Date of composition 1916 (1913-1916)
Premiered 1932, February 21st in Frankfurt, Germany
First published 07.11.1917 in Vienna by Universal Edition
Dedicated to Anton Webern
Dedicated to "Meinem lieben Freunde Anton von Webern"
Type Song(s)
Tonality Atonal
Catalogue Op. 22
Approx. duration 13 minutes
Spoken language German
Instruments Voice
Autotranslations beta Arnold Schönberg: Four Orchestral Songs, Op. 22
Arnold Schönberg: Four Orchestral Songs, Op. 22
Arnold Schönberg: Four Orchestral Songs, Op. 22