D.F. / arr. JING XIANChinese civilization is said to be divinely inspired. During each dynasty, heavenly beings came down to the Earth and bestowed a glorious culture upon humankind. The opening piece echoes this idea, and the belief that humans were once divine beings living in the heavens. It begins with the striking of the gong, revealing a resplendent, celestial scene. A powerful motif played by the strings and brass interplays with delicate melodies from the pipa and erhu, whose notes depict the light footsteps of celestial maidens. A second resounding gong announces the arrival of the Creator, who assembles the multitude of divinities and leads them down to Earth. There, in the royal palace, a stately and robust theme played by the brass represents the dynasty’s imperial scholars. They are closely followed by gentle court ladies, dancing to the strings and Chinese instruments’ drifting strains. The brass and percussion return with even more vigor, announcing the arrival of the imperial army. Finally, the majestic theme from heaven reappears, connecting the mortal world to the divine.