Toccatina was commissioned by the Powell Quartet, who premiered the piece on April 8, 1990, at the Richmond Jewish Community Center in Richmond, VA. As with much of my work from that time, Toccatina uses a small number of short cells or melodic fragments which are subjected to various transformations throughout the work. The piece is built up using various types of repetition: immediate repetition of the cells, as well as repetition of 4- and 8-bar phrases (although often with gradual variation). Frequently these repetitions involve cyclic procedures in which, for example, a four-note cell repeats five times while, at the same time, a five-note cell repeats four times. And the overall structure of the piece also consists of repetition: the second half of the piece is a repetition of the first half, occasionally transposed. This is followed by a brief coda, in which a simple melody emerges in the bass flute.