It was the Slavonic Dances, Op. 46 which brought Antonín Dvořák unexpected international fame. An unerring business instinct led Fritz Simrock, at the beginning of 1878, to ask the Czech composer for some works for piano duet into which Dvořák incorporated musical themes from where he grew up. Following in the footsteps of Brahms' Hungarian Dances, Dvořák refrained from a literal portrayal of individual kinds of dance. As a result, he created unique masterpieces of European music for domestic use and concert performance.