Antonín Dvořák composed his String Quartet in F major during his summer visit to the American town Spillville, where he was spending his summer holiday during his tenure at the conservatoire in New York. He wrote the entire draft of the quartet at a miraculous pace in just 72 hours, and the score was finished in 12 days.
“One day in the American town Spillville where we spent the summer of 1893, my dad said after lunch: ‘Ota, bring your friend, get the fishing poles, and let's go to Turkey River. I’ll lie down in the grass and listen to the birds, and you can go fishing.’ So we went. We got there, dad lay down in the grass, and we got the bait ready that some fish would go for. It took a while to do all of that, naturally. Then we cast our lines into the water, and just a moment later dad came and said: ‘Boys, pack it all up. We’re going home.’ And I answered: ‘Why, dad? We just got here, and you already want to leave?’ And dad answered tersely, you know, very tersely, the way he talked sometimes: ‘My cuff is already full of notes, so there’s nowhere for me to write.’ That meant that he had sketched out so much of the Quartet in F major, which he was writing at the time, that the cuffs of his white shirt were covered with music, and he had nowhere left to write.”
From the memoirs of the composer’s son Otakar