Ophiuchus represents a man with a snake coiled around his waist. The zodiac consists of the twelve constellations through which the sun passes. When the zodiac was first invented the sun did not pass through the constellation Ophiuchus. However, because of the precession of the earth the eclipti now passes through the southern regions of the constellation Ophiuchus in the first half of December.
Ophiuchus is in four parts.
Ophiuchus was identified by the Greeks as Asclepius, who was the son of Apollo and Coronis. Apollo took his child to Chiron, the wise centaur, who taught him the art of healing. Asclepius found that his healing herbs could raise the dead.
While most might think the ability to be a great thing, this was not the case with Hades, who feared the flow of dead souls into his domain would cease, so he complained to his brother Zeus, who killed Asclepius.
Asclepius lies dead and is mourned by Apollo.
To mollify Apollo, Zeus cannot bring Asclepius back to life, but he makes him immortal by setting him among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus.
The piece was written for Clarinet, Flute, Piano and String Orchestra.