Prokofiev’s distinctive, admirable and unforgettable genius is apparent in almost all of his first seventeen published compositions, that is to say those written during the latter half of his time as a student at the St Petersburg Conservatoire—which he attended for ten years from 1904. These include his brilliant Toccata in D minor, written in 1912 and published the following year. There is some internal evidence to suggest that the composer originally intended the Toccata to form part of his Second Piano Sonata, Op 14, composed at the same time and sharing the same tonality, but withdrew it and issued it as a separate concert piece. It appears that the first public performance of this work did not take place until 10 December 1916, given by the composer himself, in a recital that included the first performance also of his Sarcasms
, five piano pieces, Op 17.
from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1998