A reassessment of the compositional documents and chronology of Arnold Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 2, op. 10, shows that the composer, in an effort to make the work acceptable to the public, at first intended it to be an absolute composition close to the Classical norm. But midway through its period of creation this conception was discarded in favor of a more original formative model that grew from an intense process of self-reflection. The content of hitherto unpublished letters from his wife written during these months suggests that this transformation was driven by an objectification of Schoenberg's private world.