Khachaturian wrote this work as the first movement of a three-movement suite for piano:
- Dance.
He wrote the suite in 1932 while studying at the Moscow Conservatory under Nikolai Myaskovsky. However, the Toccata became so well known so quickly that it is now considered a separate piece; the suite from which it came is little known. The first performance was given by then-classmate Lev Oborin, who also recorded it.
The Toccata utilises some Armenian folk melodies and rhythms, as well as baroque and contemporary 20th Century techniques. It begins Allegro marcatissimo. A central section Andante espressivo leads to a reprise of the opening motifs. The coda is based on the central section's theme. It lasts around 5 minutes.