Toccata (Khachaturian)

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The Toccata in E-flat minor is a piece for solo piano written in 1932 by Aram Khachaturian. It is a favorite of piano students, and has been recorded many times.

Khachaturian wrote this work as the first movement of a three-movement suite for piano:

He wrote the suite in 1932 while studying at the Moscow Conservatory under Nikolai Myaskovsky.[1] 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.[2] It begins Allegro marcatissimo. A central section Andante espressivo leads to a reprise of the opening motifs.[1] The coda is based on the central section's theme.[2] It lasts around 5 minutes.

Those who have recorded the Toccata include Benno Moiseiwitsch, Shura Cherkassky, Felicja Blumental, Mindru Katz, Ruth Laredo, Roland Pöntinen and Murray McLachlan.