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Renaissance Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert album cover
4.14 | 34 ratings | 4 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 - ACT 1: Turn Of The Cards
1. Running Hard (9:47)
2. I Think Of You (3:14)
3. Things I Don't Understand (10:01)
4. Black Flame (6:57)
5. Cold Is Being (3:52)
6. Mother Russia (10:30)

Total Time 44:24

Disc 2 - ACT 2: Scheherazade And Other Stories
1. Trip To The Fair (11:25)
2. Vultures Fly High (3:31)
3. Ocean Gypsy (7:37)
4. Song Of Scheherazade (24:35)
5. The Mystic And The Muse (8:35)

Total Time 55:45

1. Running Hard
2. I Think Of You
3. Things I Don't Understand
4. Black Flame
5. Cold Is Being
6. Mother Russia
7. Trip To The Fair
8. Vultures Fly High
9. Ocean Gypsy
10. Song Of Scheherazade
11. The Mystic And The Muse

Line-up / Musicians

- Annie Haslam / vocals
- Michael Dunford / acoustic guitars and vocals
- Rave Cesar / keyboards
- David J. Keyes / bass and vocals
- Jason Hart / keyboards and vocals
- Frank Pagano / drums, percussion and vocals

Releases information

Label: Symphonic Rock Recordings

Exclusively throught their website:

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to progshine for the last updates
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Buy RENAISSANCE Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert Music

RENAISSANCE Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (9%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

RENAISSANCE Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I must say, I'm impressed with this release!

Renaissance is a long affair, since they were one of the first Progressive bands I knew back more than a decade ago with their classic Ashes Are Burning (1973).

When I've heard of the reunion back on 2009, and about their new EP release in 2010 (The Mystic And The Muse) I was concerned, like in every 'reunion', cause most of the time, for me, it sucks. Not here, the EP cited above was great, 3 songs with the old Renaissance sound, but fresh cause of the all new band. (Ive reviewed it here on PA:

When I first give a spin in this Live In Concert I was blown away. So good, and so much into the 70's sound, as if it was a recording made back in 1975 and not 23th September of 2011. Glenside, PA (where it was recorded) was a happy crowd, I can say, for sure.

It's incredible how Annie Haslam's voice is still the same even if she is 58 years old now. Michael Dunfor still the same guy, you don't really notice him, but his acoustic guitar is fundamental in their sound. The new band is amazing, two keyboard players to make it really symphonic (Rave Cesar and Jason Hart), the amazing bass player David J. Keyes, when most of the new bass players ruin the 70's Prog sound with low end tones David honour the name of the GREAT Jon Camp with the medium-high pitch he was known for. Completing the team we have Frank Pagano on drums, very professional.

The 2CD/DVD bundle can be bought exclusively throught their website here:

A real Trip To The Fair in all senses.

Review by rogerthat
5 stars Nearly four years back, Renaissance released a DVD with two concerts from the 70s, the one from 1976 being especially spectacular. But it was compiled from near bootleg class videos and didn't get a great response. There were complaints that the 'product' was not 'world class' (whatever that is supposed to mean). I was not born in the 70s and have never watched the band live and only considered it a generous gift. I also thought that it would be possible for Renaissance to shoot a world class video today to satiate the more demanding fans but the performances may not be so alluring.

Well, I was wrong about that! As Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford have said in interviews, the new band set up is terrific. And it is certainly evident on this new DVD, which captures the band performing the full albums Turn of the Cards and Scheherazade and other Stories in a concert in 2011.

The rhythm section especially has gained some crunch. Terence Sullivan was a good drummer but at times inordinately wont to use the cymbals. New drummer Frank Pagano packs a fatter thump and is yet sensitive to the band's graceful, melodious sound and careful not to overpower it. He as well as bassist David Keyes improvise a few spots every now and then quite well, where the old band veered between strict interpretations and really long workouts.

A very significant change to the set up is the presence of two keyboardists, Rave Tesar and John Hart. And with the help of modern technology, they recreate the orchestral layers of the studio recordings much better than John Tout could with the synthesizers of his day. Modern technology is sometimes bashed for making music sterile but the new Renaissance lineup is an example of how a band from back in the day has benefited from technology.

Hart tends to bring out those layers while it's up to Rave to play Tout's piano parts. Some moments, like when he didn't pull off Tout's fluent ascending run in Things I Don't Understand, suggest to me that he is not as skilled as Tout and he doesn't have his touch on the instrument either. But he improvises with more confidence, again a striking feature of this lineup. This is particularly noticeable in the wonderful interlude of Trip to the Fair.

But if it's Renaissance, then it's singer Annie Haslam who basically makes or breaks the deal. Back in the day, the band, or so it appears to me, was often projected as a five piece and a 'balanced' lineup but this concert demonstrates again why the only truly indispensable element of Renaissance is Annie's vocals. Dunford is the only one of the instrumentalists present from the 70s lineup but if Annie has changed, it's not such that would hurt the band's sound.

She still fetches THAT Eb6 from Song of Scheherazade, belts out Black Flame and Vultures Fly High heartily and generally gets through a demanding repertoire with barely any fuss. She also manages to improve upon the emotional interpretation of Ocean Gypsy, which should scarcely be possible for her to achieve now. On the minus side, she has more moments of iffy intonation than before, some timing issues and doesn't finish lines with quite the same punch as before. But she has aged so gracefully that I can hardly complain about that. Her voice continues to endure and continues to respond to the demands made of it day in and day out.

To conclude, a well recorded and well packaged DVD that is world class both in terms of video quality and performance. Renaissance continue their remarkable resurgence, riding on Annie's ageless voice and with the concert closing with a performance of new track The Mystic and the Muse, there is a promise of more to come.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Trip To a Beautiful Past ...

I only knew the band quite late, I think sometime at the late seventies or early eighties through the band's Scheherazade And Other Stories album that really hooked me at first listen especially with its seminal epic Song of Scheherazade that run more than 24 minutes. It was not as so energetic as Supper's Ready or Close to The Edge or Gates of Delirium but ... it gave me different taste of prog especially on the use of orchestra. Well...actually it was not that good in terms of record as what I first had was cassette format. When I got the CD, then I felt different especially during the silent segments where using cassette produced many noises. But that was then and it's funny lately that I found interesting to play back my cassette that I purchased at early eighty and played on TANDBERG TCD 440A, it really sounds great even at the silent segments. But that's just this Scheherazade album while the other album Turn of Cards I only got the CD version sometime in early 2000.

And now I never imagined that finally I can see the band reunited in 2011 and play their two seminal albums in its entirety live recorded at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA USA on September 23 2011. Over two hours of Renaissance live performance of the two albums that I already reviewed the studio version at this site. I always enjoy the live versions like the other CDs that I have i.e. Live at Carnegie Hall and those from King Biscuit something. But this DVD and two CDs of course is different because they are (Annie and Michael) already old. Surprisingly, Annie's voice is still great!

The set comprises two acts: 1. Turn of the Cards and 2. Scheherazade and Other Stories with track listing is exactly the same as studio version.

Turn of The Cards is basically an excellent symphonic prog album. The performance starts with the opening track "Running Hard" (9:37) that kicks off with quite complex improvisations of piano in a combined style of jazz and classical music. But when the music enters, the song has catchy melody especially when Annie Haslam's voice enters the music. It is really enjoyable as it moves naturally from one segment to another, smoothly. The following "I think of you" (3:07) is a pop-orientated song with some sort of folk music styles through the acoustic guitar rhythm section. Combined with the sound of clavinet, it makes this song richer in textures. The bass guitar lines are quite tight accompanying the music from start to end. It then moves into more energetic beats with "Things i don't understand" (9:29) which again using tight bass guitar lines as beat keeper as well as dynamic groove that moves the music of this song. The Annie's vocal line turns into high register notes during interlude part in a chanting style, while guitar still dominate the rhythm section. It's nice to notice the choir section in the middle of this track.

"Black Flame" (6:23) starts with an ambient nuance with acoustic guitar fills as great soft background and bass guitar brings the music in the smooth flow. Some string orchestration has enriched some segments couple of shots just before the vocal line enters the music. Again, the melody of this song is quite catchy. The clavinet work makes the music much interesting to enjoy especially during the movements with drum work and when it returns to quieter segment. It's one of my favorite Renaissance tracks. "Cold is being" (3:00) starts off with church organ sound and the melody is quite familiar with most of us. "Mother Russia" (9:18) is a great epic which moves dynamically with the band's brilliant composition that moves the music ups and downs, stirring my emotion. This song is not just wonderful in terms of melody but also in its wonderful flow from one segment to another. The string section work makes the music is richer. Another great song by Renaissance. No wonder if this track is featured in the trailer that promotes this DVD / CD live set.

The Act 2 kicks off beautifully with a nice and warm "Trip To The Fair" (10:48) that might give you a trip to happiness and peace of mind to the beautiful past.... (in the case of having this DVD/CD live set). The soprano vocal quality of Annie Haslam characterizes the style of this track as well as overall music style of Renaissance which some have called it as a folky art rock music. I don't blame them saying that as the other two tracks "The Vultures Fly High" (3:07) and "Ocean Gypsy" (7:05) as well as the opening track can be categorized that way. I have to add another quality : "melodic". Yes, almost all tracks featured here are melodic, accompanied with acoustic guitar, piano and orchestra. Wonderful composition.

The key performance featured here is the epic "Song Of Scheherazade" (24:52) which comprises nine parts. This is a story-orientated music that represents the band's interpretation of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" which was composed with a full orchestra and string. From the intro "Fanfare" with a beautiful orchestration, nice piano in relatively complex arrangement the epic moves to a silent passage "The Betrayal" wonderfully. The segment has become very touchy when Jon Camp gives his vocals augmented by Annie Haslam. The epic has a powerful lyrics as it tells a story about how Scheherazade was fighting for her life whom she was sentenced to death toll by The Sultan. The Sultan had been killing many beautiful girls (his wives) every night after he found out his wife was unfaithful to him. To delay her death she told story to the Sultan every night for 1000 nights and she remained his wife for the rest of their days. What a heroic story. But most interestingly, every segment of the epic contains wonderfully crafted music performed live at its best.

The package is quite good as well, housed in a deluxe DVD digibook styled case with a great little booklet filled with color photos. For the loyal fan, this is a must own, as it's really the first time in the band's history that a full color, full concert has been recorded & filmed for release. This current line-up of the band really is on a roll now, and they are also in the process of raising funding to help with the recording of their first new original material in over 10 years. It's an excellent package. Keep on proggin' ..!!

Peace on aerth and mercy mild - GW

Latest members reviews

3 stars I thank Haslam and Dunford for bringing Renaissance back. Anyone who owns the albums covered in this concert will be delighted to watch it. But at the same time this show was a little bit depressing: shots of the audience show that only old farts like myself bother to go to a Renaissance gig. ... (read more)

Report this review (#849311) | Posted by moodyxadi | Saturday, November 3, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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