Towards the end of the 19th century the piano quartet was established as a separate sophisticated chamber music genre. It is therefore not surprising that the publisher Fritz Simrock asked Dvorák for a further contribution to the genre.
The second Piano Quartet in E-flat major op. 87 was composed in the summer of 1889 during a torrent of creativity: “My head is so full, if a human being could only write it all down straight away! […] It is unexpectedly easy and the melodies simply flow towards me. Thanks be to God!” These words could describe the quartet itself, a work with characteristic carefree tone and clear nationalistic colouring. The primary source for this publication was the first edition (1890).