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Renaissance - Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 1 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 59 ratings

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4 stars Well it seems that Renaissance is considered some sort of second league prog from the 70's. They're the exquisite band with that lady with fine vocals and that developed an acoustic, classical-sounding prog music, well-constructed but far from spectacular.

Not in my ears. Not in my heart.

I admit that my first contact with Renaissance was marked by the impression mentioned above. Some years later and with more experience I listened to the band again and now everything worked just fine! The responsible for this radical change was John Tout's performance in "Can you understand" and his work together with Jon Camp's in "Kiev". Haslam's was an obvious "choice" for paying atention to Renaissance's sound but actually she came after these two wonderful musicians.

But after getting captured by their magical sound it was impossible to resist to them. Only "Ashes are burning" was available in the Brazilian market (third world sucks) but with web friends' help I was able to listen to the magical output that comes from "Prologue" to "A song for all seasons", and even their real "last" album "Azure D'or" has value for me (in its side one). After looking for them in the local version of eBay I'm now the happy owner of all their classic albums in their CD versions (nothing against peer to peer trade but I really love the sensation of owning the real thing - so 20th century I am...). And one of (really two) the crown gems are their King Biscuit shows.

Although I love "Novella" from its cover to its musical concept I can't stand to its "masterpiece", "Can you hear me". In good days I can even tap my fingers but usually I hate that vocal introduction and the endless repetition of the song title. But the rest of the album is superb and its tour should be just great. This RAH concert proves it.

I'm used to bootlegs so the technical problems of this album and its twin aren't anything to me. But there are two minor flaws on part one: the first is the orchestral version of Prologue that prives me from listening to Tout's piano; the second is Can you hear me. But these aren't reasons strong enough to diminish the power of Renaissance live with their classic line-up and an orchestra. So part 1 is a very good album, a solid 4 stars but not so good as part two. Obvious high points: Can you understand, Carpet of the sun and a whole lotta stronger than Carnegie's Song of Scheherazade. Carnegie Hall as a whole still beats this first chapter, although this album is a fine acquisition to anyone that loves real music, specially the one under the prog umbrella. Excellent addition to any music collection.

moodyxadi | 4/5 |


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