The String Quartet No. 3 in D major, op. 18, No. 3, was written by Ludwig van Beethoven between 1798 and 1800 and published in 1801. Although it is numbered third, it was the first quartet Beethoven composed. It consists of four movements:
Andante con moto
According to Steinberg, this is the gentlest, most consistently lyrical work [within opus 18] , except for the fourth movement, in which Beethoven first explores the idea of shifting the center of gravity toward the end of a multimovement work.
^ Steinberg, p. 159
^ Steinberg, p. 163
Robert Winter, Robert Martin eds. (1994). The Beethoven Quartet Companion. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-08211-7.; especially the essay by Michael Steinberg (pp. 159-163)