If...[Alban] Berg departs so radically from tradition, through his substitution of a symmetrical partitioning of the octave for the asymmetrical partionings of the major/minor system, he departs just as radically from the twelve-tone tradition that is represented in the music of Schoenberg and Webern, for whom the twelve-tone series was always an integral structure that could be transposed only as a unit, and for whom twelve-tone music always implied a constant and equivalent circulation of the totality of pitch classes.
The pre-World War I works of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, "give a glimpse of a new universe of emancipated discourse, unfortunately quickly abandoned when Schoenberg returned to the classical musical shapes upon adopting the twelve-tone system."elliott carter
By the time of his Fourth String Quartet, inversional symmetry had become as fundamental a premise of Bartók's harmonic language as it is of the twelve-tone music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern. Neither he nor they ever realized that this connection establishes a profound affinity between them in spite of the stylistic features that so obviously distinguish his music from theirs...Nowhere does he [Bartók] recognize the communality of his harmonic language with that of the twelve-tone composers that is implied in their shared premise of the harmonic equivalence of inversionally symmetrical pitch-class relations.george perle