BEETHOVEN - STARR; ’Rage Over a Lost Penny’ (an orchestration by Mark Starr of Beethoven’s ’Die Wut Ueber den verlorenen Groschen,’ originally for piano)

Ludwig van Beethoven
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
6 minutes
Classical music
Instrumental parts
Not available

Whoever gave this famous piano piece the nickname ’Rage Over a Lost Penny’ (in German: ’Die Wut über den verlorenen Groschen,’) it wasn’t Beethoven. Beethoven composed it in 1795, when he was 25 years old. However, the piece was not published until after Beethoven’s death, when the manuscript was discovered among his papers. Beethoven called it ’Rondo alla ingharese quasi un capriccio’ (Hungarian Rondo, almost a caprice.) The colorful posthumous nickname, conjuring up an explosion of Beethovenian anger over a missing coin, has stuck since the music first become known – despite the odd fact that it begins and ends in a major key.

I have arranged this work for orchestra – with a virtuoso ensemble in mind. This music is great fun to play – especially if the musicians have the requisite technique to perform it at a very lively tempo (i.e. q = 158-160).

I hope browsers who listen to the score will express their opinions about Beethoven’s ’Rage Over a Lost Penny," and my orchestration of it either in an online review or in an email to me (just click on the green button labeled Email the Publisher.) I am always interested to read the observations of those who listen to my compositions and orchestrations.


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