"Dazzling orchestral colors," is one one way to describe the music of Ottorino Respighi. "Belkis, Queen of Sheba" was conceived as an evening-long ballet with singing whose lavishness has kept it from view since its La Scala premiere. This is only the second recording of a suite prepared by the composer – for the first time with the tenor solo (sung by Chad Shelton), and with the movements in the correct order. The music’s oriental perfumes and barbaric splendor guarantee the enthusiasm of anyone who hears it. "Dance of the Gnomes" is a little-known but characteristically dramatic and colorful (some might say "lurid") tone poem. "Prof." Johnson’s stunning HDCD¬ sonics make Respighi’s greatest hit "The Pines of Rome" (with extra brasses and organ!) a dazzling conclusion to this unusual, inventive program.