Goldschmidt’s four string quartets span the whole of his compositional career: the first was written in 1926 while he was still a student in Berlin; the fourth, completed in 1992 at the age of 89, was his last work in the chamber medium. The Third Quartet, completed in 1989, was commissioned by the Jewish Museum, Rendsburg in Schleswig-Holstein. The circumstances of the commission had a direct bearing on the musical material of the work which grows out of the notes (E)S C H – H (Schleswig-Holstein) and H B G (Goldschmidt’s native city of Hamburg). These musical ciphers are combined with a quotation from Goldschmidt’s choral piece Belsatzar (originally sung to the words "Jehovah, I hold you forever in scorn – for I am the King of Babylon!"), together with a traditional Jewish theme which is contrapuntally combined with it and finally gains the upper hand. In one substantial movement lasting some 17 minutes, the Third Quartet is a curiously under-rated but intense and concentrated work which makes a powerful impression in performance.