Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

Op.11 - Toccata

Emir Gamsız, piano


This piece is in the album:

"A Piano in Manhattan"

Read about the album: Click here.

Read about the composer: Click here.

Read about the pianist: Click here.


Toccata in D minor, Op.11, is a solo piano piece written by Sergei Prokofiev in 1912 and it was premiered by the composer himself on December 10, 1916 in Petrograd. It is a further development of the toccata form used by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Robert Schumann. Well-known toccata composers include Maurice Ravel, Dmitri Kabalevsky and Aram Khachaturian. Prokofiev's Toccata, an extremely difficult showpiece, has proven its popularity among virtuoso pianists over the decades.

This piece, which is based on repetitive notes, which is a common feature in Prokofiev's works, creates a shamanic ritual that can turn both the performer and the listener into a kind of trance. Prokofiev is the only composer to put the title of Smanioso (Shamanish) in one of his works. Smanioso is the fourth piece of his  Op.17 - Sarcasms. The interesting melody in Toccata, which is repeated in various forms from the beginning to the end, is precisely in line with the characteristic term that is generally used for Prokofiev's music; Grotesque.