“Spirited”, “dramatic”, “highly expressive”, and “masterly” are among the comments made upon Mendelssohn’s String Quartets op. 44 nos 1-3. He wrote them in 1837/1838, at a very happy time: he had just married, was becoming world famous, and had been appointed director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Concerts, one of the highest positions in the German musical world at that time. The quartets were written in the order 2 (in e minor), 3 (in E-flat major) and 1 (in D major). Mendelssohn himself considered the Quartet in D major as his best - perhaps a reason why he placed it at the beginning of the collection.