Audiophile HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Chandos) Ottorino Respighi – Belkis Queen Of Sheba & Metamorphoseon

Dont ask me, my friends, why this recording sounds phenomenal outstanding, although it is a digital production. Hear and judge by yourself.

‘Belkis, Queen of Sheba’ was the Romantic musical equivalent of those Hollywood Roman empire/Bible epics like ‘The Ten Commandments’ or ‘Spartacus’. It has never been recorded complete, but the suite of four movements extracted by the composer gives a good idea of what a spectacle it must have been. It sounds a lot like movie music, in fact, and that’s a complement. ‘Metamorphoseon’, by contrast, is a brilliant theme and variations on a Gregorian tune that was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Its neglect is inexplicable, unless it’s due to the fact that it requires an organ at the end, which makes it impractical for many orchestras. These performances are thrilling, and so is the sound. –David Hurwitz

# Composer: Ottorino Respighi
# Orchestra: The Philarmonia Orchestra
# Conductor: Geoffrey Simon
# Vinyl (1985)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# Label: Chandos
# DR-Analysis: DR 12
# ASIN CD: B000000ADG

# Size: 1.01 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

Geoffrey Simon had already proven himself an insightful and perhaps even ideal champion of Respighi before the arrival of the disc at hand (originally issued in 1985, if I am not mistaken). Now, this is not the only recording available for either work, though they remain rare, and I cannot imagine a more compelling and convincing advocacy for them than this. “Belkis, Queen of Sheba” is a full-length ballet completed in 1931, from which Respighi assembled a four-movement suite (the complete ballet appears to be unavailable on disc). The suite consists of four dances, two opulently meditative and atmospheric ones and two energetic ones, in turn martial and buoyant. Instead of picking actual numbers from the ballet, however, Respighi opted to draw on several sequences to stitch together the movements (perhaps the suspicion that we get all the highlights has prevented a revival of the whole work), but none of the numbers sound anything but convincingly coherent. Stylistically I cannot imagine anyone who warms to Scheherazade and the Fountains of Rome could fail to be immensely enjoyed by this music – perhaps not Respighi’s very greatest, but marvelously colorful, brilliant, imaginative and melodically memorable nonetheless.

The Metamorphoseon (also from 1931) was written for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (same occasion as Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms). It is a primarily a set of variations though as with Richard Strauss’s work of almost the same title it is construed as a far-arching, systematic progress of transformation to a conclusion (though it reminds one more of Elgar’s Enigma Variations than Strauss’s Metamorphosen). What is a little surprising is how formally impressive the work is; coherently argued, nicely contrasted, but of course with the spectacular scoring and array of nuances and moods that most listeners undoubtedly associate with the composer. Still, the means are slightly more economic than in many of Respighi’s works, partially I suppose as an effect of his love for plainchant being brought to bear. The heart of the work is the lengthy cadenza in which each instruments receive a chance to shine (and the Philharmonia members truly rise to the task), but the joyful finale actually achieves a convincing conclusion to a very appealing, imaginative and rewarding work.

The performances are, as already hinted at, superb. The textures produced by the Philharmonia Orchestra are rich, lush, and deep, yet clear; they achieve plenty of color, flair, power and momentum and capture the moments of rapturous beauty and intensely evocative atmosphere perfectly. The sound is really outstanding as well, and all in all this is a major addition to the catalogue, recommended without any serious reservations.



A1 The Dream Of Solomon 7:58
A2 War Dance 2:50
A3 The Dance Of Belkis At Dawn 6:19
A4 Orgiastic Dance 5:13
B1 Theme 1:49
B2 Modus 1 1:53
B3 Modus 2 1:40
B4 Modus 3 2:20
B5 Modus 4 2:39
B6 Modus 5 0:36
B7 Modus 6 0:44
B8 Modus 7 6:39
B9 Modus 8 1:20
B10 Modus 9 2:19
B11 Modus 10 0:42
B12 Modus 11 0:51
B13 Modus 12 2:03

Analyzed folder: /96kOtRes_BelQuOfSh/96k Respighi – Belkin, Queen Of sheba – Chandos
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR12        -0.79 dB     -19.35 dB     A1 The Dream Of Solomon.wav
DR11        -0.48 dB     -14.78 dB     A2 War Dance.wav
DR14        -2.23 dB     -23.61 dB     A3 The Dance Of Belkis At Dawn.wav
DR12        -1.96 dB     -17.42 dB     A4 Orgiastic Dance.wav
DR12        -3.76 dB     -19.89 dB     B1 Theme.wav
DR13        -2.93 dB     -23.69 dB     B2 Modus 1.wav
DR11        -1.45 dB     -19.80 dB     B3 Modus 2.wav
DR12        -6.19 dB     -22.41 dB     B4 Modus 3.wav
DR11        -0.80 dB     -15.76 dB     B5 Modus 4.wav
DR12        -6.87 dB     -24.08 dB     B6 Modus 5.wav
DR12        -2.18 dB     -19.50 dB     B7 Modus 6.wav
DR12        -12.44 dB     -30.12 dB     B8 Modus 7.wav
DR12        -7.02 dB     -24.77 dB     B9 Modus 8.wav
DR13        -6.30 dB     -26.56 dB     B10 Modus 9.wav
DR12        -7.65 dB     -23.62 dB     B11 Modus 10.wav
DR11        -1.86 dB     -17.31 dB     B12 Modus 11.wav
DR11        -0.75 dB     -15.16 dB     B13 Modus 12.wav
Number of files:    17
Official DR value:    DR12

Ripping Infos


If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Very light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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Thank you very much !

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PW: LaWally

11 thoughts on “Audiophile HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Chandos) Ottorino Respighi – Belkis Queen Of Sheba & Metamorphoseon

  1. Hello Rach,

    parts seem to be ko (This file is no longer available due to an unexpected server error. If you are the owner of this file, it will need to be re-uploaded. )
    Can you please reup ?
    Many many thanks

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