In a letter to Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg described his Five Orchestral Pieces Op. 16 (1909) as "absolutely not symphonic, exactly the opposite of that". However, an analysis of the five pieces reveals that the nineteenth-century symphonic tradition has had a considerable influence on Schoenberg's Op. 16. This influence not only affects the formal organization and the content characteristics of the individual movements, but also their relation to one another and their disposition within the composition as a whole, which turns out to be a cycle.