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Renaissance - Scheherazade and Other Stories CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.32 | 1408 ratings

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5 stars Their Masterpiece.

On this album, Renaissance put in their best effort and create a wonderful collection of music whose legacy will last for decades. While a natural evolution of their sound on 'Ashes' and 'Turn', this album also sees the songwriting develop and mature to a very high level. The highlight, and the pinnacle of their career in my opinion, is their extended epic "Song of Scheherazade", which takes up side B of the vinyl album. The music was written by three members of the band, while incorporating elements and interpretations of Rimsky-Korsakov's piece "Scheherazade" (with their lyricist, poet Betty Thatcher, once again writing the lyrics). For this piece they added a full orchestra. It is really a shining example of how good music can be, and like all things that are worth the time, it takes a bit of effort. But the reward in musicality is very high. Side A, however, is also great, containing some of the band's most innovative pieces. "A Trip to the Fair" begins the album, setting up a very interesting atmosphere, part-carnival, part-pensive and confused-waxing philosophical ("but nobody was there?"). The song immediately signals that this is an intellectual album, and it makes one stop and think. 'The Vultures Fly High", a short but likewise introspective and pensive piece follows, with "Ocean Gypsy" closing the side. The latter, like "Ashes are Burning" and "Mother Russia", would become a live staple, very musical (even if the most traditional in its form on this album). All in all, amazing music from beginning to end. I give this 9.4 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which sets it firmly within the 5 PA star realm. Absolutely essential.

Walkscore | 5/5 |


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