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Beethoven Rage over a Lost Penny

Beethoven Rage over a Lost Penny

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The “Rondo alla ingharese quasi un capriccio” in G major, Op. 129 (Italian for “Rondo in the Hungarian [i.e. gypsy] style, almost a caprice”), is a piano rondo by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is better known by the title Rage Over a Lost Penny, Vented in a Caprice (from German: Die Wut über den verlorenen Groschen, ausgetobt in einer Caprice). This title appears on the autograph manuscript, but not in Beethoven’s hand, and has been attributed to his friend Anton Schindler. It is a favourite with audiences and is frequently performed as a showpiece.

Robert Schumann wrote of the work that “it would be difficult to find anything merrier than this whim… It is the most amiable, harmless anger, similar to that felt when one cannot pull a shoe from off the foot,” citing the work as an instance of Beethoven’s earthliness against those fixated upon a transcendental image of the composer.

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