Gillian Moore, head of classical music at London's Southbank Centre, commenting on Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 2 in a Guardian article promoting the Centre's January opening of its year-long The Rest Is Noise festival the festival based on material drawn from New Yorker classical music critic Alex Ross's prize-winning book of the same name:
[Schoenberg's] String Quartet No. 2, written in 1908 in the middle of an extreme marital and psychological crisis, starts with a richly harmonised minor key melody which would not have frightened Brahms. But by the end of the piece, a soprano has — highly unconventionally — joined the quartet and she sings "I feel the air of other planets", to music which is fractured, atomised, ethereal and floating utterly free from the gravitational pull of 600 years of harmonic tradition.