JING XIANThis piece reflects the belief that Chinese civilization was bestowed upon humankind by higher beings. With the sounding of the gong, the music begins in Heaven. Gentle goddesses glide to and fro as an erhu melody is played, while male figures walk in procession to the sounds of strings and brass. A stately theme appears that represents the Creator, played by full orchestra. He calls upon the heavenly beings to descend with him to Earth, where they incarnate in the Middle Kingdom, or China. Trumpet calls and powerful percussion then evoke the strength of an imperial army, while contrasting lyrical melodies portray the delicate ladies of the imperial entourage. In the final moment, the Creator’s theme reappears, played by full orchestra, signifying the arrival of the emperor. A glorious new era thus begins.