The Beggar's Opera: 5. Virgins are Like the Fair Flow'r in its Lustre

(melody line only) Henry Purcell
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Full details

Here we meet Polly, Peachum's daughter, for the first time, and she is assuring her father that she knows the commercial and social value of holding on to one's virginity as long as possible (although she has in fact just secretly married MacHeath)

Both recorder players are used here, but the flute, oboe, one bassoon, the percussionist, the violin and double bass are all resting. The bassoon may be substituted by a cello

The original of this tune is an air entitled "What shall I do to show how much I love her?" from Purcell's masque "Dioclesian", first produced in 1690 and still very popular in 1727 when The Beggar's Opera appeared.

Score ID
(melody line only) Henry Purcell
John Gay
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
1 minute
Large mixed ensemble
Classical music

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