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RENAISSANCE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Renaissance biography
There were two groups under the banner of RENAISSANCE. The first group included Keith and Jane RELF (vocals) and came from the YARDBIRDS ashes. The second and better known incarnation produced some of the best music that I have ever heard. Annie HASLAM's five octave range fit perfectly with the classical/orchestral rock (lot of piano playing & full symphony orchestra backup) created by the other members. The quick description I usually give is they are sort of like the old MOODY BLUES with a an incredible female vocalist. The soprano voice of Annie and the piano virtuosity of John TOUT allied to the beauty and refreshing melodies, the refinement of the arrangements gave their music its magnificent splendour.

My favorite RENAISSANCE albums are "Ashes Are Burning" and "Turn of the Cards". I also recommend "Novella", "Scheherezade and Other Stories" and "A Song for All Seasons" are must haves. I would add "Live At Carneige Hall" and "King Biscuit Hour Parts 1 and 2" as their 'prime' material. Plenty to fill a day with class, power and ethereal delights. The best introduction to the band would be the "Tales of 1001 Nights" compilation, which together contain of the band's best material from 72 through 80. Also the very first album from '69 is essential. After 1979, the band moved towards a more pop direction, like many other bands did in the late 70's.

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Buy RENAISSANCE Music


Symphony of LightSymphony of Light
Red River Entertaint 2014
Audio CD$7.98
$8.00 (used)
Scheherazade & Other StoriesScheherazade & Other Stories
Hybrid SACD - DSD
Audio Fidelity 2014
Audio CD$17.43
$21.56 (used)
Ashes Are BurningAshes Are Burning
Import
Repertoire 1995
Audio CD$6.09
$8.38 (used)
Live at Carnegie Hall/ The Deluxe Anniversary Edition (2 CD) (Original Recording Remastered)Live at Carnegie Hall/ The Deluxe Anniversary Edition (2 CD) (Original Recording Remastered)
Remastered
Friday Music 2009
Audio CD$16.22
$10.99 (used)
Turn of the CardsTurn of the Cards
Import
Repertoire 1994
Audio CD$6.02
$8.38 (used)
Renaissance Live In Concert Tour 2011Renaissance Live In Concert Tour 2011
Box set
MRI 2012
DVD Audio$11.94
$18.12 (used)
Song for All SeasonsSong for All Seasons
Import
Sire Records 1999
Audio CD$4.38
$3.38 (used)
DeLane Lea Studios 1973DeLane Lea Studios 1973
Cleopatra 2015
Audio CD$14.98
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
RENAISSANCE - A SONG FOR ALL SEASONS [RENAISSANCE] [075992595926] - NEW CD USD $6.11 Buy It Now 1h 54m
707 [Director's Cut] by 707 (CD, Dec-2008, Renaissance Records (USA)) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2h 3m
RENAISSANCE - TURN OF THE CARDS [REMASTER] - NEW CD USD $11.47 Buy It Now 2h 27m
JIM MCCARTY Frontman SEALED 2LP RSD 2014 Vinyl LP Yardbirds Renaissance USD $13.95 Buy It Now 2h 58m
The Glorious Sound of Brass: Renaissance & Baroque Masterpieces, Glorius Sound o USD $21.44 Buy It Now 3h 4m
45 RPM Renaissance Richard IX 9 Promo MINT USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3h 11m
Renaissance by Renaissance (CD, Nov-2010, Esoteric Records) USD $19.35 Buy It Now 3h 37m
Illusion by Renaissance (CD, Dec-2010, Esoteric Records) USD $19.85 Buy It Now 3h 37m
Christian Smith - Platform - CD - (2CD) (2009 Renaissance) USD $16.22 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Renaissance : Camera Camera CD (1995) USD $9.18 Buy It Now 4h 43m
Italian Music of the Renaissance - Sacred & Secular Giuseppe Biella Vanguard lp USD $19.99 Buy It Now 4h 44m
RENAISSANCE-illusion '70 GERMAN PINK RIM ISLAND LP. 2ND. PROG.GEM ex-YARDBIRDS USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4h 51m
Adcock Eddie - Renaissance Man Jewl CD USD $17.29 Buy It Now 5h 21m
Clemencic Clemencic Consort - Dances Of The Renaissance CD USD $12.89 Buy It Now 5h 22m
'PACHA IBIZA' Vol 2 Renaissance 2005 UK Compilation 3 Disc CD Box Set - Morales USD $12.16 [0 bids]
5h 46m
8 track, sealed, Aria, RENAISSANCE NOVELLA, 1977 SIRE RECORDS, Patrick Moraz, USD $1.00 [1 bids]
5h 47m
Gustav Leonhardt - Organ In Renaissance & Baroque No [CD New] USD $15.38 Buy It Now 6h 5m
Owain Phyfe & The New World Renaissance Band - Tales From The Vineyard [CD New] USD $20.90 Buy It Now 6h 10m
'RENAISSANCE: THE CLASSICS Pt 2' 2006 EU Dance Compilation 3 CD Box Set: 50 Trks USD $8.10 [0 bids]
6h 33m
KLEZMER CONSERVATORY BAND yiddishe renaissance CD SEAL USD $7.91 Buy It Now 7h 6m
STEVE LAWLER - VIVA IBIZA 3xCD Renaissance GU Lights Out Fans Cream Home Pacha USD $10.88 Buy It Now 8h 12m
ENGLISH TRADITIONAL - A MEETING PLACE: MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE MUSIC FOR - NEW CD USD $16.31 Buy It Now 8h 13m
David Russell - Renaissance Favorites For Guitar [CD New] USD $12.65 Buy It Now 8h 46m
Renaissance The Mix Collection (1994) Mixed by Sasha & John Digweed (3CD) RARE USD $54.45 Buy It Now 8h 54m
Renaissance Anthems 2002 (3CD) House / Chill Outs CDs inc. Groove Armada Sanchez USD $6.21 Buy It Now 8h 54m
MUSIC CD - RENAISSANCE - THE CLASSICS - 3 CDs USD $9.32 Buy It Now 9h 9m
Southern Renaissance by A&D (CD, Feb-2004, Freeway Records) USD $7.60 Buy It Now 9h 18m
RENAISSANCE CAMEDRA CAMERA LP 765 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 9h 30m
FAIL EMOTIONS-RENAISSANCE-JAPAN CD D73 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 32m
DALAI LAMA RENAISSANCE - I Know You Will - LP USD $23.48 Buy It Now 9h 41m
Various Artists - Renaissance (The Classics, 2005) USD $4.59 Buy It Now 9h 55m
RENAISSANCE TIME LINE LP 765 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 10h 2m
RENAISSANCE~'MOMENTS OF TRUTH'~ RARE ITALIAN CD 1992~LLRCD154~NEW USD $38.89 Buy It Now 10h 8m
DAVE SEAMAN - RENAISSANCE: DESIRE - NEW CD BOXSET USD $14.97 Buy It Now 10h 12m
Renaissance music for Lute Walter Gerwig 3 Lp box Deutsche Harmonia Mundi NM USD $49.99 Buy It Now 10h 15m
DAVE SEAMAN DAVID MORALES BT - Renaissance Worldwide Singapore 3xCD USD $10.88 Buy It Now 10h 15m
WAVERLY CONSORT - A RENAISSANCE CHRISTMAS (CD) MICHAEL JAFFEE USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10h 18m
RENAISSANCE MUSIC S/t LP 31 Track Stereo UK Open University 1972 USD $24.49 Buy It Now 10h 21m
RENAISSANCE LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL 2 LP SET GATEFOLD COVER 765 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10h 22m
Marcia Wieder: Doing Less And Having More (1999 Audio Renaissance) Used Cassette USD $7.50 Buy It Now 10h 39m
BEHZAD - GYPSY RENAISSANCE - NEW CD USD $14.68 Buy It Now 10h 39m
RENAISSANCE 'A SONG FOR ALL SEASONS' UK LP USD $13.99 Buy It Now 10h 40m
RENAISSANCE 'NOVELLA' US IMPORT LP USD $13.99 Buy It Now 10h 40m
Berganza+Yepes. Spanish songs ( Middle Age and Renaissance). DGG 2530 504. NM USD $13.00 Buy It Now 11h 22m
David Munrow - Renaissance Dances: David Munrow, The Early Music Co (NEW 2 x CD) USD $15.94 Buy It Now 11h 28m
EARLY RENAISSANCE MADRIGALE E CACCIE / GUILLAUME DUFAY ARCHIV AMP 14019 lp EX USD $19.99 Buy It Now 11h 34m
The Renaissance Of Italian Music (The National Gallery Collection) (NEW 2 x CD) USD $18.27 Buy It Now 11h 48m
King's College Choir, Cambridge - Renaissance Masterpieces (NEW CD) USD $12.82 Buy It Now 11h 48m
WIND RIDERS: THE RENAISSANCE OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE - NEW CD USD $12.16 Buy It Now 11h 58m
VANILLA FUDGE RENAISSANCE SD 33-244 ORIG. 1st PRESS 1968 CLASSIC ROCK PSYCH USD $24.00 Buy It Now 12h 21m
Kirchhof : Kirchhof;the Renaissance Lu CD USD $12.84 Buy It Now 12h 26m
DAVID MUNROW Introduces And Performs Mediaeval And Renaissance Music LP 32 Trac USD $8.15 Buy It Now 12h 52m
VARIOUS ARTISTS**HUELGAS ENSEMBLE: SACRED SONGS OF THE RENAISSANCE**CD USD $13.95 Buy It Now 12h 53m
Renaissance by Josh Rosenthal (CD, 2008) pop CD NEW USD $4.99 Buy It Now 13h 5m
RENAISSANCE-Azure Dor CD NEW USD $12.50 Buy It Now 13h 15m
RENAISSANCE - NOVELLA [RENAISSANCE] [4988044390324] - NEW CD USD $37.07 Buy It Now 13h 19m
Art Greenshaw Renaissance Man record lp USD $4.50 Buy It Now 13h 25m
JAMES TYLER Music For Merchants And Monarchs LP 7 Track Renaissance Lute,archlut USD $29.49 Buy It Now 13h 40m
Dances From Renaissance to Nutcracker by Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (CD, 1993, D USD $7.99 Buy It Now 13h 42m
VARIOUS COMPOSER-VARIOUS: MUSIC IT RENAISSANCE CD NEW USD $10.16 Buy It Now 13h 43m
Renaissance - Novella [CD New] USD $8.94 Buy It Now 13h 51m
RENAISSANCE - ILLUSION [RENAISSANCE] [4009910510629] - NEW CD USD $11.66 Buy It Now 13h 52m
Renaissance Vanilla Fudge UK vinyl LP album record 587110 ATLANTIC 1968 USD $45.05 Buy It Now 13h 52m
JAMES TYLER Music Of The Renaissance Virtuosi LP 10 Track UK Saga 1976 USD $22.13 Buy It Now 13h 57m
BRANFORD MARSALIS Renaissance LP 7 Track UK Cbs 1987 USD $8.15 Buy It Now 14h 9m
Renaissance Renaissance - Orange Palm Tree Label vinyl LP album record UK USD $37.27 Buy It Now 14h 11m
NEW YORK PRO MUSICA Renaissance Festival Music LP 14 Track Stereo In Flipback Sl USD $16.25 Buy It Now 14h 16m
Pot Psych! THE RENAISSANCE - Mary Jane/DayTime Lovers - Marijuana Unknown Psych! USD $20.00 Buy It Now 14h 22m
RENAISSANCE A Song For All Seasons LP 8 Track With Inner And Poster UK Warner B USD $11.80 Buy It Now 14h 25m
Ashes Are Burning by Renaissance (CD, Sep-1998, One Way Records) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 14h 32m
RENAISSANCE Novella LP 5 Track Gatefold Sleeve Has Some Edge And Shelf Wear US USD $8.15 Buy It Now 14h 34m
OPERA MUSIK DER GOTHIK UND RENAISSANCE PALESTRINA-KANTOREI STADLMAIR HAMPE USD $5.59 Buy It Now 14h 35m
ALAN STIVELL Renaissance De La Harpe Celtique LP 5 Track Gatefold Sleeve FRENCH USD $14.75 Buy It Now 14h 36m
Renaissance Renaissance - Pink label - white 'i' - EX UK vinyl LP album record USD $83.96 Buy It Now 14h 40m
RENAISSANCE SONG FOR ALL SEASONS LP 1978 USD $1.54 [0 bids]
14h 41m
CD Gene DiNovi "Renaissance Of A Jazz Master" jazz piano on Candid 1995 USD $1.50 [0 bids]
14h 45m
The Tallis Scholars: Renaissance Giants (CD, Nov-2006, 2 Discs, Gimell) USD $14.95 Buy It Now 14h 50m
DJ Decent The Stupid Def E.P. 12" Renaissance Infinity RIV 003 1996 Vinyl USD $7.99 Buy It Now 14h 51m
RENAISSANCE Turn Of The Cards LP SIRE RECORDS SR6015 US 1974 No Barcode VG++ USD $13.49 Buy It Now 14h 53m
RENAISSANCE AZURE D'OR LP 765 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 14h 54m
RENAISSANCE Turn Of The Cards MINI LP CD USD $16.14 Buy It Now 15h
Musica Antiqua Polonica Organ Music of the Polish Renaissance Joachim Grubich NM USD $15.00 Buy It Now 15h 12m
Renaissance Scheherazade Japanese vinyl LP album record RVP-6008 RCA 1976 USD $73.06 Buy It Now 15h 13m
BENITA WASHINGTON - RENAISSANCE NEW CD USD $20.41 Buy It Now 15h 13m
Alan Stivell Renaissance Of The Celtic Harp UK vinyl LP album record 6414406 USD $29.49 Buy It Now 15h 16m
SOMNOLENT - Renaissance Unraveling USD $12.49 Buy It Now 15h 17m
GERVAISE: DESPREZ:-RENAISSANCE WINDS CD NEW USD $20.43 Buy It Now 15h 23m
"MEDIEVAL RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE RECORDER MUSIC" LP VG+ FAST SHIPPING USD $8.99 Buy It Now 15h 24m
PALESTRINA, GIOVANNI - RENAISSANCE OF ITALIAN MU - NEW CD BOXSET USD $9.98 Buy It Now 15h 31m
THYS VAN LEER Renaissance LP 12 Track Deletion Cut In The Sleeve GERMAN Wea 198 USD $9.77 Buy It Now 15h 34m
"A SONG FOR ALL SEASONS" RENAISSANCE LP VG+ FAST SHIPPING USD $3.99 Buy It Now 15h 35m
@ CD Head East - Concert Classics AOR / RENAISSANCE RECORDS 1999 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 15h 36m
Renaissance - 1st Vanilla Fudge UK vinyl LP album record 588110 ATLANTIC 1968 USD $76.18 Buy It Now 15h 39m
4 Lot Christmas LP Records Renaissance -Corpus Christi Choral-Brass Ensemble VG USD $4.95 Buy It Now 15h 50m
Alan Stivell Renaissance Of The Celtic Harp UK vinyl LP album record PRICE51 USD $19.76 Buy It Now 15h 57m
RENAISSANCE AZURE D' OR 1979 NM USD $5.99 Buy It Now 16h 4m
Various Artists - Renaissance (The Classics, 2005) 3xCDs USD $7.61 Buy It Now 16h 15m
Q-Tip (Explicit Lyrics) : The Renaissance CD (2008) USD $9.38 Buy It Now 16h 19m
Renaissance ILLUSION 2nd Album REPERTOIRE New Sealed CD USD $10.99 Buy It Now 16h 20m
Blanco y Negro - Hispanic Songs of the Renaissance from the Old and New World USD $3.00 Buy It Now 16h 22m
CD a song for all seasons ~ USD $13.25
CD ashes are burning ~ USD $14.50
CD illusion ~ USD $15.01
LP live at carnegie hall ~ USD $14.89
CD novella ~ USD $13.25
CD prologue ~ USD $7.32
CD renaissance ~ USD $14.50
CD renaissance ~ USD $15.01


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RENAISSANCE shows & tickets


  • Renaissance at Spirit of 66, Verviers on 9 Apr 2015
  • Renaissance on 10 Apr 2015

RENAISSANCE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RENAISSANCE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 226 ratings
Renaissance
1969
2.96 | 161 ratings
Illusion
1971
3.67 | 298 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.21 | 501 ratings
Ashes Are Burning
1973
4.06 | 443 ratings
Turn Of The Cards
1974
4.31 | 803 ratings
Scheherazade And Other Stories
1975
3.69 | 279 ratings
Novella
1977
3.63 | 246 ratings
A Song for All Seasons
1978
2.98 | 142 ratings
Azure D'or
1979
2.30 | 91 ratings
Camera Camera
1981
1.64 | 84 ratings
Time-Line
1983
2.04 | 49 ratings
The Other Woman
1995
2.94 | 38 ratings
Ocean Gypsy
1997
2.30 | 43 ratings
Songs from Renaissance Days
1997
3.09 | 75 ratings
Tuscany
2000
3.30 | 90 ratings
Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
2013

RENAISSANCE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.24 | 164 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall
1976
3.77 | 47 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 1
1997
3.66 | 44 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2
1997
3.85 | 20 ratings
BBC Sessions
1999
2.38 | 10 ratings
Unplugged - Live at The Academy of Music, Philadelphia USA
2000
3.20 | 12 ratings
Can You Hear Me
2001
3.32 | 10 ratings
Mother Russia
2002
4.00 | 6 ratings
Live + Direct
2002
3.51 | 31 ratings
In The Land Of The Rising Sun
2002
3.15 | 8 ratings
British Tour '76
2006
3.11 | 10 ratings
Dreams & Omens
2008
4.15 | 19 ratings
Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert
2011

RENAISSANCE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.87 | 19 ratings
Song of Scheherazade
2008
4.10 | 10 ratings
Kings And Queens
2010

RENAISSANCE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.56 | 10 ratings
In the Beginning
1978
3.33 | 3 ratings
Rock Galaxy
1980
3.42 | 28 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 1
1990
3.18 | 25 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 2
1990
3.41 | 12 ratings
Da Capo
1995
2.51 | 3 ratings
Innocence
1998
2.56 | 3 ratings
Trip To The Fair
1998
4.03 | 5 ratings
Day of the Dreamer
2000
3.82 | 2 ratings
Songs For All Seasons
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Heritage
2003
2.00 | 3 ratings
Midas Man
2003

RENAISSANCE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Northern Lights
1978
1.20 | 7 ratings
Faeries (Living At The Bottom Of My Garden)
1981
3.57 | 15 ratings
The Mystic And The Muse
2010

RENAISSANCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.30 | 90 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by progbaby

4 stars 4.3 stars :-)

Best Renaissance album since "Song for all Seasons". Might even be better than that. Does not matter. Great stuff.

I respect everyone's review here on this album. I respect the low reviews and the high reviews. We all see/hear different things in the same album. What makes the world exciting.

I'm not hearing any "tiredness/weariness" from Annie's voice. I don't know how old she is now but I imagine perhaps in her early-mid 60's?

The opening "Symphony of Light" his you hard with her angelic/operatic style similar to what you hear on SCHEHERAZADE and other stories. Fabulous. Add in the usual classic 70's Renaissance classical riff sections with piano/bass, etc.. Just this song alone makes the album worth while.

"Waterfall" so much reminds me of the classic "Bound for Infinity" from Prologue. OMG, I'm back in 1972 again and it's 2014.

"Grandine il Vento" is another classic 70's sounding piece that could easily find a home on their "Ashes are burning" album.

Ian Anderson adds a nice touch with his flute solo on "Cry to the world"... Just fabulous.

"Air of Drama" sort of reminds me of the song "Kiev" from Prologue. Almost like a Dr. Zhivago soundtract song :-)

So nice to hear John Wetton on Blood/Siler/Like Moonlight. Haunting melodies.

Album closes with an attempt for the most powerful fairytale like song "Mystic and the Muse". Classic sound.

Personally, I prefer the opening track but this is a very strong effort from 2 of the members of their classic 70's period.

I wish Camp/Tout were back (for completist novelty sake) but this is not to take anything away from their replacements who were excellent.

This is a wonderful "return to the Prologue --> Scheherezade" period.

Annie's voice has not lost a step. In-fact, it's even more operatic here and she still hits those high notes.

One way or another, this album is a blessing. considering years back in the 90s I never figured they would ever reform. Tucsany (2000) was a nice album but was more 90's-like. This album is intentionally a return back to their 70's sound.

I am so grateful that they reunited back to do this. This is not just a ho-hum "lets do one for old time sake" albums. They put their heart and soul into this. And it shows. To Annie and the rest, I'm so appreciative for this album!!

Right on up there with the classic albums they did in the 70's. There's nothing "modern" sounding. You could have haev released this in 1973-1974 and it would have fit right in.

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.30 | 90 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Billy900

4 stars I've enjoyed the work of Renaissance since the 70's but have recently revisited some of the core albums:-

1974 Turn Of The Cards 1975 Scheherazade And Other Stories 1976 Live at Carnegie Hall

I've spent many many hours in recent years swallowed up in these masterpieces which are all solid 4 and 5 star albums in my view.

Being a big fan of the original sound, I approached 2013's Symphony of Light with caution but was surprised and delighted with the material and the performances. This album is absolutely classic Renaissance in every way. Annie Haslam, who's voice is one of the defining qualities of the band, is spot on, hitting impossible notes and retaining that unique clarity of tone throughout. The quality of the compositions is right up there with their core albums as far as I can hear, and Symphony of Light can be listened to right after Scheherazade without skipping a beat - they flow so naturally, it could have been recorded the same year.

High points for me are "Porcelain" with beguiling atmosphere, hook and melody, the acoustic piano driven "Blood Silver Like Moonlight" with a great vocal duet, and the somewhat Lloyd- Webber-esqe "Tonight" - just a sublime anthem, with some headphone challenging high-notes!! Be warned. Weaker tracks: "Immortal Beloved" and "The Mystic and the Muse" are still engagingly theatrical songs that would be standouts in almost any other song-list.

It's very unusual that a band can connect to the muse so strongly 40 years later!

I'd really like to give this 4.5 stars, but 4 is fair!

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.30 | 90 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Perhaps unlike some of you, my introduction to Renaissance's discography wasn't chronological; rather than starting from the beginning, my first exposure to the band was their 1975 album Scheherazade and Other Stories album, albeit many years later. The format of the album is engaging, starting out with several shorter, more accessible tracks, and climaxing with the massive beauty that is "Scheherezade" a piece that had me in awe of the classic British act due to their jaw dropping orchestrations, deft songwriting capabilities, and of course, the angelic voice of Annie Haslam. While for many, including myself, Scheherazade represents the pinnacle of Renaissance, their 2014 release, Symphony of Light, effectively reminded me of all the nice things that make these veteran symphonic rockers tick. Like their classic 70′s albums, Symphony of Light boils down to the knack Renaissance has for delivering solid art songs and epic symphonic rock pieces.

One thing that catches my attention about Renaissance is their keen ability to make songs that somehow call to mind something between pop rock, the classical art song tradition, and musical theater. "Air of Drama" is perhaps my favorite example of this, a track that would blend in perfectly on a stage musical production, particularly in the way that Annie and David trade vocal lines, calling their dialogue to the forefront, highlighting Haslam's darker parts with the more optimistic sections led by David Keyes. Throw in Hart and Tesar hammering it out on the harpsichord, Mellotron flutes, and swelling according and we get a nice art song with strong theatrical overtones. The John Wetton fans will be pleased to hear his duet with Haslam on the pleasant piano ballad, "Blood Silver Like Moonlight," and if you're looking for a nice pop track with a huge, uplifting symphonic chorus, "Cry to the World" will certainly suit your fancy. And even though I generally run like the dickens when a ballad appears, I can't help but feeling that "Tonight" absolutely nailed it with its romantic sway, pretty arrangements, and Broadway musical feel. And while Symphony of Light is mainly a re-release of last year's Il Grandine Vento with new cover artwork and two extra tracks, it is certainly well worth it due to the presence of the new closer, "Renaissance Man." A touching tribute to the late Michael Dunford, Renaissance's very own chief mastermind, "Renaissance Man" sports lyrics of grateful praise to Dunford's hard work, inspiration, and wide imagination. The dynamic of this song is absolutely lovely as the recurring piano theme walks the line between sadness and joy, while the 'chorus' spouts a majestic, symphonic swell before ending each time delicately with a major chord and gentle ritard before the return of the primary piano motif. Recognizing both the sadness in death and the hope in life, this track truly is a great tribute to Dunford's legacy.

And while Renaissance shows great skill at bringing art music elements to their more 'catchy' tracks, I would bet that what truly has won over our little prog hearts is their more dramatic, symphonic prog pieces. Such is the case with "Symphony of Light," "Grandine il vento," and "The Mystic and the Muse" all tracks which reminded me of why I love this band. In terms of dramatic flavor, the intro to "Symphony of Light" couldn't get any better with its surreal chord changes that undulate from dark to light alongside a solid dose of theatricality. Haslam's voice certainly has aged well, still feeling expressive but now taking on a more haunting edge. The first two minutes had me grinning, but the song only gets better as a break with tolling church bells leads the way to a duo of synth and acoustic guitar that introduces perhaps what would be the main verse, exhibiting loads of tension in its repetitive motion. As the drumming kicks in we get a more optimistic section full of symphonic elements prior to the next verse. Over various instrumental twists and turns we get all the things we love in Renaissance, including their classic piano playing and huge orchestral arrangements that always exhibit just enough dynamic bombast without forgetting restraint. A bit more on the 'symphonic rock-lite' side of things, "Grandine" really hits the spot with introspective, surreal lyrics, and deep sense of mystery. From its delicate piano to the gentle sparkling of guitars, ambient keys, and upbeat, operatic sensibility, we see Renaissance delivering their specialty, this time in a more conventional form. Just as the band kicked it off huge with "Symphony of Light," they make sure to give us an epic feast towards the end of the record in the form of "The Mystic and the Muse," my personal favorite from the album. In my opinion this track is right up there with the classics of Renaissance's catalog, a song featuring loads of feeling. Opening up like a horror film soundtrack, "The Mystic and the Muse" delivers dark, gothic chords under Haslam's roaring and eerie bombast. When the drum kit gets in the groove I must admit that there was a lot of head bobbing going on in the room and I could feel that the band was really going to take us on a big, musical journey. Repeated descending piano riffs contrasting orchestral arrangements make for a very visual presentation as Annie holds some fascinating verse melodies that scream out mystery and wonder. Following a beautiful narrative refrain, Renaissance takes us on an a powerful tour of symphonic rock through several key changes before a brief breather that takes 500% advantage of carefully placed notes on the vocal line for grand effect on a quiet yet intense middle section. I must say that I was also pleased that the song eventually led us back to that killer refrain and beastly vampire chords, big drums, and soaring vocals that ooze coolness.

If what you're looking for is something that deliver's 21st century Renaissance with the marvelous feel of the 70′s era of the band, Symphony of Light should be right up your alley. Essentially, what you get a slew of good art rock alongside a couple of ambitious symphonic rock pieces that marvelously succeed in their efforts to bring dramatic music, theatricality, and strong songwriting to the table. All in all, Symphony of Light is a worthy memory of Dunford and the band's sophisticated vision of what rock can be.

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 Scheherazade And Other Stories by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.31 | 803 ratings

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Scheherazade And Other Stories
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Dark Nazgul

4 stars Thousand and one words could not describe this beauty.

This album represents a sort of cornerstone in the career of Renaissance because with this record, on one side, the band released the sublimation of his progressive style (through one of the most successful fusion between rock and symphonic music of the 70s) and, secondly, show the first signs of wanting to give a more commercial appeal to their songs. It is also important to note the use of synth, which is very rare in the previous records. The centerpiece of the album is represented by the excellent suite Song of Scheherazade which occupies the entire second side of the 'original LP. The long epic is a top of the band's career, perhaps even the highest point ever reached in a single song from Renaissance. The lyrics refer to one of the most famous tales of the "Thousand and One Nights" but what really makes the difference is the excellent result of the fusion of rock music and symphony orchestra. The orchestral parts are performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, and they are absolutely fundamental in the construction of this long epic, so that in some moments the band is totally absent and the orchestra is the absolute protagonist of the scene. This aspect is a clear differentiation than in the past, where the orchestral parts were limited to give more redundancy to the sound of the band, in my humble opinion with not remarkable results. It should be emphasized above all the extraordinary contribution of the vocal choir of the London Symphony Orchestra, the section "The Young Prince And Princess" with a wonderful interpretation by John Tout on piano and Annie Haslam on vocals, and the amazing, majestic, grand finale.

The opening A Trip To The Fair is another excellent track. It opens with a long introduction by Tout on piano and various rhythm changes that lead to the vocal part, as always impeccably executed by Annie. The arrangements recall the classic music that you hear in markets or fairs.

The reasons why I will not rate with five star this excellent album are the other two songs: Ocean Gypsy," too melodic for my taste and monotonous after several listening, and the short and insipid The Vultures Fly High, clearly a filler.

In any case, this is an album not to be missed for lovers of symphonic genre, and the best album of Renaissance after "Ashes Are Burning".

Final rating 8/10.

Best song: Song Of Scheherazade

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.30 | 90 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars The best Renaissance album for 35 years!

Renaissance has never been among my favourite bands, but they are one of those bands of which I have heard everything they have ever done. Like most people would probably agree, the band's output from the last three and a half decades has not been overly impressive compared to the output from their first decade of existence. Hearing this new album is a pleasant surprise and I would say without a doubt that it is their best since 1978's A Song For All Seasons. Indeed, Symphony Of Light stands heads and shoulders above the generally weak material the band has produced since then.

The most noteworthy track here is by far the 12 minutes plus opening title track (Symphony Of Light) which belongs to the band's all-time best compositions. It has all of the ingredients of classic Renaissance: the captivating voice of Annie Haslam, the piano and the acoustic guitar, the symphonic bombast. But it also has more than that, it has other keyboards beyond just piano (which I would have wanted to have heard more on the band's classic albums).

After such an excellent opening the rest of the tracks are not quite as interesting in comparison, but nonetheless the album continues to be enjoyable all the way. The band is helped by two stalwarts of progressive Rock in Ian Anderson and John Wetton. Anderson adds his characteristic flute to Cry To The World and Wetton his equally distinctive voice to Blood Silver Like Moonlight.

The Mystic And The Muse, Immortal Beloved, and Tonight were previously released as an EP, but are here tagged on as bonus tracks. The Mystic and the Muse in particular is another strong track in the style and quality of the band's 70's material.

Recommended, particularly for fans of classic Renaissance

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.30 | 90 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars I have been listening to some heavier prog lately, so I was in for some culture shock with this album. My review is of "Symphony of Light," and not the original "Grandine Il Vento." Symphony of Light contains the additional two tracks from "The Mystic and Muse EP" and a new track "Renaissance Man" written as a tribute to the late Michael Dunford. Although it has been a year or so since I listened to Renaissance, it did not take long for me to be swept away by Annie Haslam's angelic voice. It absolutely sent chills through my soul, and she has never sounded better. I can only imagine what they were trying to achieve with this album by creating a homage to the 70s. This is a modern album, but they absolutely gave it some of that 70s magic that they had when they were younger. People change when they get older, and this achievement was very difficult as their frame of reference changed from all of the life experiences. With the addition of John Wetton's vocals on "Blood Silver Like Moonlight" and Ian Anderson's flute playing on "Cry To The World," that 70's vibe was complete. This is an absolutely solid album with no duds and many tempo changes to give it a very progressive feel. If you enjoy the music of Renaissance, the vocals of Annie Haslam, or progressive rock, there is so much to like about this album.

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 Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2 by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 1997
3.66 | 44 ratings

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Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by rogerthat
Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This is the second of the two disc release drawn from Renaissance's performance at Royal Albert Hall in October of 1977. It is also in my view the more interesting of the two albums.

The reason I say this is because it draws material from Novella apart from also including concert staples Running Hard, Mother Russia and Ashes are Burning (which is a super-super-extended version). In comparison, Part 1 only has Can You Hear Me from Novella, while the rest is mostly material you already have from Live at Carnegie Hall (I say mostly because Prologue on Part 1 is performed by the orchestra and is a very interesting interpretation), rendering that a little more superfluous.

It also helps that the two tracks drawn from Novella on this album, Touching Once and Midas Man, translate better live than Can You Hear Me with its plodding interlude. This performance of Touching Once features what is almost like a duel between saxophone and Renaissance's lead instrument Annie Haslam and is far and away the best one I have heard so far. Annie is in superlative form and the RPO also seems to respond better to Renaissance's music than did the New York Philharmonic, elevating this performance even perhaps above the studio cut. There's precious little to choose between the versions of the Turn of the Cards tracks on here and LATC.

The album also features a performance of Prologue drawn from a 1979 concert. It is a really good one and is now available in video format (um, black and white just like the rest of the Song of Scheherazade DVD, I am afraid) on Concert Vault. As an appendage, we have You (Pts 1 and 2) which would make it to the outtakes album Songs from Renaissance Days and sounds positively incongruous in this lush, orchestral live album with its extremely 80s sounding synths and percussions.

The other problem is the performance of Ashes Are Burning. By this point, Renaissance seem to have grown almost inordinately fond of this, one of their most magical and best loved tracks. Surely, extending an originally 11 minute or so track to 28 minutes (!) is a feat that even ELP would have been proud of. Consider that nearly 5 minutes of this is just Jon Camp on bass. While he may be a fine player, the problem is he doesn't really explore any interesting harmonic possibilities on this solo and only seems to be demonstrating the limits of what he can do on the instrument. The performance never completely recovers from the loss of momentum at this point even though all the rest of it that they play is very well done.

For this and for forcing You on to this collection, I dock a star and give the album 4 stars. If you would like to hear a more confident version of Renaissance than that seen (heard) on LATC and also add some Novella along the way, this is a great release. If you do not have LATC at all, then Albert Hall pts 1 and 2 are more worth your time in my humble opinion.

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.30 | 90 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by snelling

4 stars Renaissance returns to form with this lovely effort, 'Grandine il Vento' (retitled 'Symphony of Light' in 2014 with the other 2 tracks from 'The Mystic and Muse' ep, and a beautiful new track written by Rave Tesar and Annie Haslam for the late Michael Dunford, appropriately titled 'Renaissance Man')

The album starts with my favorite track, Symphony of Light, which returns to the sound of earlier albums, most notably 'Novella', to my ears. Slow paced, mellow, and emotional in traditional Renaissance fashion, this contains a nice instrumental bit as well (there are too few of them on the album) even if it does borrow a line from 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight'. This 'borrowing' was undoubtably intended, as there is no way all the progheads involved could possibly have missed the reference. It is a cool section, maybe my favorite on the album.

'Waterfall', the next track, is another favorite for me, reminding me a bit of 'Bound For Infinity', from 'Prologue', albeit not quite as beautiful.

Each of the rest of the tracks are quiet and pretty, with the exception of 'The Mystic and The Muse', which seems to be the lone dynamic (relatively) track. Having said that, all of the songs are quite good, although none of them blow me away, the closest being the aforementioned opening song, and the new closer (of the 'symphony of light' version of the album), 'Renaissance Man', which is a VERY beautiful little song, and a beautiful dedication to Mr. Dunford, who was an irreplacable musical force, and as I understand, a very kind and thoughtful gentleman. The one good thing being that he was able to see a resurgence in interest in his music before he passed away. 3 and a half stars for me, rounding up.

Where he could have gone from here, no one will ever know...

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 Ashes Are Burning by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.21 | 501 ratings

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Ashes Are Burning
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by fudgenuts64

5 stars This album is good. Really good. But seriously getting into it, Ashes Are Burning is light on the symphonic nature, but nails the pastoral sound so well it's absolutely essential for any fan of prog folk. The album kicks off with John Tout's excellent piano work on Can You Understand, with Jon Camp's bass guitar kicking in soon after making this piece rock a bit. Soon we get a bit lighter here and Annie Haslam comes in with perfect vocals that put the listener at ease. The song turns to a instrumental passage that is quite good and has some orchestration in it too. The song ends with a reprise of the intro and leaves you satisfied.

Let It Grow is a beautiful song that, while being a pretty straightforward pop song, is so good and fits right at home on this record. On the Frontier brings the folk back, with great backing vocals from Jon Camp. Some nice instrumental work here, particular on bass. Carpet of the Sun is one of the bands most well known pieces and for good reason, it's fantastic. A perfect symphonic sounding pop song with great piano and bass work as well as being arguably the most symphonic song on the album. At the Harbour is a sad song about women watching as there husbands die from a storm as they drown. A beautiful intro taken from Debussy's Sunken Cathedral, it fits the song incredibly well so I think most can excuse the quote.

And finally, the epic, Ashes Are Burning. The one everyone loves, and for good reason. Annie and Jon's vocals together work very well in this song and the piano work is just splendid. After the short first section we get the whole band going on an instrumental torrent, showcasing the abilities of all the members while still being very tasteful. The song ends with a slow vocal section with very intelligent lyrics. And then, the only electric guitar on the album comes in and a sweet solo by Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash ends the song with a bang, slowly fading out and leaving you satisfied. Overall, absolutely essential for anybody who likes prog folk or pastoral prog. The symphonic elements are a bit lacking on this one but it doesn't matter, it makes up for it with it's amazing pastoral feel. Best album they did. 5 out of 5.

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 Azure D'or  by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.98 | 142 ratings

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Azure D'or
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by fudgenuts64

4 stars Renaissance were still very creative at this point in their career. Just no epics. That isn't a bad thing. The record kicks off with the soaring Jekyll and Hyde, which really rocks harder than most of this record. The Winter Tree is a softer piece, very folk oriented with a good chorus. Not unlike some of the shorter stuff on earlier records. Only Angels Have Wings is a Camp penned song, and also sung by him. This one is a bit weak, but I can't help but enjoy the lyrical theme. Golden Key is fantastic. Classic Renaissance downsized to 5 minutes. The Mellotron John Tout uses in the middle of the song really adds to the symphonic nature of the song. Forever Changing was penned by Terry Sullivan, and is another folkier, pastoral kind of song. Very good stuff. Secret Mission is really proggy, with lots of time changes. Kalynda is pop song, but as always (or, well, up until this album) good. The Discovery is a pure prog instrumental, really driving. Great keyboards on this one. Friends is probably the weakest track here. Sounds like something young children would listen to. Not a bad song, but out of place. The Flood at Lyons is a short symphonic end to this album. Really powerful song. If you like prog pop don't hesitate to get this one. If you like Renaissance, get this one. If you want a pure prog album, you can skip this one.

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