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“Read the preface, looked at the poems, am delighted. Brilliant idea, just my kind of thing,” noted Arnold Schönberg in his diary, after hearing of the actress Albertine Zehme’s plans to set Dreimal sieben Gedichte aus Albert Girauds Pierrot lunaire to music. Originally, Zehme had been thinking of a work for a spoken voice with a piano accompaniment, but Schönberg did not want his composer’s imagination to be limited by this. Zehme, who commissioned the piece, agreed, and each of the 21 miniatures was given its own sound colour by the instruments employed: flute, clarinet, piano, violin and cello. The world première in 1912 apparently required 25 rehearsals.