The work was completed on April 19, 1787, less than a month before the completion of his stormy G Minor Quintet, K. 516. This would not be the last time that a great pair of C major/G minor works of the same form would be published in close proximity and assigned consecutive Köchel numbers. The following year, the 40th (G minor) and 41st (C major) symphonies would be completed within a few weeks of each other.
This quintet inspired Schubert to write his own string quintet in the same key (his scoring involves two cellos rather than two violas as in Mozart's quintet). The opening theme of Schubert's work retained many of the characteristics of Mozart's opening theme, such as decorative turns, irregular phrase lengths, and rising staccatoarpeggios (the latter appear only in Schubert's recapitulation).