Schönberg's "Three Piano Pieces" op. 11 were composed in the spring and summer of 1909, at the same time as the "Fünf Orchesterstücke" op. 16 and "Erwartung" - both works that represent Schönberg's "gentler" musical ideals in comparison to the dense texture of earlier works. The composer wrote: "The Three Pieces for piano op. 11 were not my first step towards a new form of musical expression. Ahead of them were parts of my Second String Quartet and several of my Fifteen Songs after Stefan George op. 15. But they were the first published music of their kind and as such generated quite a sensation."