For several years following composition of his first piano quartet, Dvorák's publisher Simrock pushed him to compose a follow-up piece in the genre. The work, written during a few short weeks in summer 1889, fulfilled Simrocks wishes. With his op. 87, Dvorák delivered a challenging and mature work in which a mastery of form is combined with memorable themes and surprising harmonic turns, leading it quickly to conquer the hearts of both performers and audiences.
The engraver's model for the first edition is lost; but together with the first edition the autograph survives as a second source for our critical edition, with which Henle continues its series of Urtext editions of this composer.
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