5 Songs of Ariel for mixed a-cappella choir was composed in 1950. In it, Frank Martin used lyrics from Shakespeare's The Tempest to set them to music.
The characteristic idiom of his music is the product of an emphatic endeavor constructively to extend the scope of conventional tonality by his judicious exploration of elements of twelve-tone technique. One feature of Martin's oeuvre, then, is his passionate dedication to the reconciliation of opposing extremes.
This goes hand in hand with his extremely discerning eye for the elaboration of artistic subjects. His sensual clarity and elegance and the subtly shaded formal diversity which are pervading features of his musical idiom invest his work with enduring worth.