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The Rage over a Lost Penny

Arrangement for percussion solo and orchestra

Publishing house HANS SIKORSKI: The Rage over a Lost Penny

Performance instructions

This composition is not only intended as a piece of music, but also as a little "show" in which the percussionist is not only a musician, but also plays the role of Beethoven himself, who lost this "damned penny".


After a few introductory bars, “Beethoven” appears from the wings or from the hall and, not noticing anything around and not hearing the surrounding music, confusedly, looks at his empty purse and pockets. At the same time, he is looking for a penny on music stands, among musicians or spectators. More and more nervous, he approaches his instruments and plays on the marimba with all possible anger (bar 57).

After playing his solo (bar 89) and discarding the sticks, he resumes his search, now among the percussion instruments. The search should be connected as organically as possible with the playing of the timpani and the suspended cymbal (bars 120-128), while the rumble Gran Cassa (bar 125 for the second time) will fall completely out of the orchestral contexture.

Immediately after the beats of the Gran Cassa (bars 130-150), the conductor gestures for the disturbing musician to go away, but he does not agree and tries to explain with signs that he has lost his money.

Realizing that he alone can not cope, the conductor turns to the orchestra and the orchestra helps him to cope with the obstinate musician (bar 151 - "uh").

After this admonition, "Beethoven" finally returns to his duties as an orchestral musician.

Excerpts from the press releases

Thüringische Landeszeitung (TLZ)


Unusual things by and about Beethoven

Frivolous sound experience...

Jena. The 6th symphony concert of Series C of the Jena Philharmonic on February 28, 2003 at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. concert introduction) is devoted almost exclusively to Ludwig van Beethoven. Next to his 1st symphony from 1800, the maestro can be heard in two arrangements with very different intentions. The "The Rage over a Lost Penny" attributed by him in the Rondo a capriccio in G major, Op. 129, provoked the Russian composer Slawa Ulanowski to use an orchestral arrangement, which could not only emphasize the loss of small change musically (...)

Thüringische Landeszeitung (TLZ)


Hard to beat in terms of entertaining

Beethoven and Boreyko as crowd pullers

(...) "The Rage over a Lost Penny" was originally composed for piano. Slawa Ulanowski (born 1951) arranged the rondo for percussion solo and orchestra (...)

(...) the arrangement is foxy instrumented and obviously gives audience and orchestra musicians pleasure far away from togs. (...)

(...) Good news for those who stayed at home listening to the concert, which was sold out to the last seat: Deutschlandradio will broadcast the recording on March 11, 8 p.m.

Hans Lehmann

Ostthüringer Zeitung (OTZ)


Unusual Beethoven

Entertaining and yet profound concert evening in Jena

(...) "Rondo a cappriccio G major" by Beethoven, originally composed for piano, later given the title "The Rage over a Lost Penny", now Slawa Ulanowski (born 1951) has arranged it for percussion solo and orchestra. What comes over the ramp is a musically truly capricious enterprise of virtuoso playfulness and musical wit in every line of the score. Entertainingness wrapped in orchestral perfection, altogether a whimsical concert prelude not without humour, for the original was in no way damaged, on the contrary, the Viennese hermit to be admired for once from a different perspective and with Ulanowski's help. (...)

Hans Lehmann

Ostthüringer Zeitung (OTZ)


Boreyko and orchestra outstanding duo

Concert of superlatives in the Jena Volkshaus - Beethoven evening with Andrey Boreyk

(...) At first, percussionist Berkley Williams was conspicuously silent, seeming to be looking for something on the still empty stage, before he later banged on the percussion during Beethoven's " Rage Over a Lost Penny". By then, at the latest, it was clear to the last guest what the musician had been looking for. This was actually more a case for television (...)

(...) Slawa Ulanowski arranged the piano piece for orchestra, and the percussion solo in it was made for Berkley Williams to shine with his skills (...)

Karl Müller Schmied

Rheinische Nachrichten


An auspicious debut

Soloists Ensemble Europa at the Forma Messebau concert

(...) and as a brilliant finale an ingenious-crazy orchestral arrangement of Beethoven's "Rage over the Lost Penny" by Slawa Ulanowski, which really revealed the already oddball character of the work. (...)


© Slawa Ulanowski