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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$7.96
$6.20 (used)
Scheherazade & Other StoriesScheherazade & Other Stories
Hybrid SACD - DSD
Audio Fidelity 2014
Audio CD$14.99
$21.15 (used)
Turn of the CardsTurn of the Cards
Import
Repertoire 1994
Audio CD$7.00
$6.50 (used)
Ashes Are BurningAshes Are Burning
Import
Repertoire 1995
Audio CD$6.56
$5.98 (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
$13.99 (used)
Song for All SeasonsSong for All Seasons
Import
Sire Records 1999
Audio CD$4.66
$3.63 (used)
ProloguePrologue
Import
Repertoire 1995
Audio CD$7.00
$7.34 (used)
TuscanyTuscany
Import
REPERTOIRE 2011
Audio CD$7.46
$5.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
VILLAGE PEOPLE JAPAN OBI RENAISSANCE US $24.99 Buy It Now 39m 4s
Into the Fire by Barnet Dogs/Russ Ballard (CD, Mar-2009, Renaissance Records... US $6.16 Buy It Now 39m 51s
VOX DILECTI MEI: RENAISSANCE SONGS OF LOVE; HANS-J RG MEIER: WINGERT IN - NEW CD US $17.40 Buy It Now 54m 35s
Memnon - Desire - Renaissance - 2000 #49140 US $4.96 Buy It Now 1h 2m
OPERABABES - RENAISSANCE - DHARMACD8 US $21.39 Buy It Now 1h 9m
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RUTGERS COLLEGIUM MUSICUM / KIRKMAN - RENAISSANCE WEDDING GIFT NEW CD US $23.91 Buy It Now 1h 15m
Renaissance Anthems (3 X CD ' Various Artists) US $4.96 Buy It Now 1h 27m
Alan Stivell "Renaissance of the Celtic Harp " rounder record 3067 -- 1982 US $7.90 Buy It Now 1h 58m
Renaissance: Music for Inner Peace by US $1.00 Buy It Now 2h 3m
V.V.S.I. no ace at hand NRR21 usa new renaissance 1986 LP PS EX+/VG+ VVSI US $25.40 Buy It Now 2h 15m
RENAISSANCE azure d' or K56633 uk warner near mint disc LP PS EX/EX US $14.91 Buy It Now 2h 18m
THE ASSOCIATION RENAISSANCE LP US $5.50 Buy It Now 2h 22m
RENAISSANCE Illusion CD Germany 6 tracks Line LICD 9.00425 O US $9.99 [0 bids]
2h 40m
The Golden Virgins(CD Single Promo)Renaissance Kid-XLS 182CD-Very Good US $8.29 Buy It Now 2h 48m
HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH sad caper CD 5 trac b/w araby, renaissance eyes, i'm ove US $10.99 Buy It Now 3h 9m
Renaissance- Live Carnegie Hall 2 LP Sire Records 2XS 6029 VG+ NM US $2.99 Buy It Now 3h 11m
Renaissance Masters series 4 - Mixed By Nick Warren & Danny Howells (2 X CD) US $4.96 Buy It Now 3h 22m
IBIZA: THE SOUND OF RENAISSANCE, VOL. 3 - NEW CD US $12.40 Buy It Now 3h 37m
VARIOUS Music Of The Renaissance MACE MCS9062 VG+ STEREO LP CLASSICAL VOGELWEIDE US $21.16 Buy It Now 3h 39m
Renaissance Man - Track Sketcha New & Sealed CD Free Shipping US $21.78 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Renaissance - Tuscany [CD New] US $18.77 Buy It Now 4h 3m
VANILLA FUDGE Classic Rock LP RENAISSANCE US $4.99 [0 bids]
4h 4m
Prologue - Renaissance LP GATEFOLD US $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 38m
GARGOYLE "S/T" ORG cd New Renaissance 88,Oliver Magnum,Heir Apparent US $79.99 Buy It Now 4h 40m
RENAISSANCE - 'Back Home Once Again (1977 7'' 45)'. US $4.89 Buy It Now 4h 59m
Rena Hopson - Renaissance Prayer [CD New] US $8.44 Buy It Now 5h 4m
GARGOYLE LP IDEM RENAISSANCE US $30.00 Buy It Now 5h 24m
DAVID MUNROW Two Renaissance Dance Bands LP STEREO HMV US $13.25 Buy It Now 5h 27m
Renaissance Presents: Utilities by James Zabiela (CD, Jun-2005, 2 Discs,... US $6.99 Buy It Now 5h 49m
Renaissance Ibiza Deep Dish (CD, 2004, 2 Discs, Yoshitoshi) US $28.49 Buy It Now 5h 54m
Renaissance Worldwide (Singapore, 1998) v rare cd mixed by seaman,morales bt US $16.56 Buy It Now 6h
RENAISSANCE RECORDS 4-TRACK EP #RN-001 - 12" US $4.98 Buy It Now 6h 4m
New Age Renaissance by Jeff Fong CD US $5.39 Buy It Now 6h 5m
Maastrichts Liedboek Maastricht Songbook Medieval Renaissance Rare Classical CD US $9.93 Buy It Now 6h 7m
RENAISSANCE s.t. JAPAN MINI LP CD US $59.99 Buy It Now 6h 10m
Anthony Rooley Renaissance Fantasias Hyperion First Release Classical CD US $10.76 Buy It Now 6h 13m
Moyen Age & Renaissance by Hesperion XX cd used US $3.00 [0 bids]
6h 14m
45 RPM 1979 Renaissance Man D J phonograph record John Wayne Doc Randolph US $3.00 [0 bids]
US $3.90 Buy It Now
6h 33m
ARCHIV SAPM red stereo THE EARLY RENAISSANCE - JOSEF ULSAMER - EX+ US $27.00 Buy It Now 6h 45m
ARCHIV SAPM red stereo HARNONCOURT the high renaissance UWE MUND LP EX++ US $27.00 Buy It Now 6h 54m
RENAISSANCE AT CARNEGIE HALL btm A-1E orig UK double Lp US $19.88 Buy It Now 6h 55m
Scheherazade and Other Stories [SACD] by Renaissance (CD, Jun-2014, Audio... US $24.02 Buy It Now 7h 3m
HILDEGARD OF BINGEN - FROM CHANT TO RENAISSANCE - NEW CD US $16.19 Buy It Now 7h 16m
Dave Seaman CD set 3 1996 Renaissance six6/avex mint Renmix4CD US $12.75 [0 bids]
7h 17m
1 CENT CD Renaissance - Branford Marsalis US $0.01 [1 bids]
7h 26m
PONTE IN VALTELLINA - A RENAISSANCE ORGAN / ZEHNDER, ET AL - NEW CD US $16.84 Buy It Now 7h 29m
Folie Douce /Renaissance Improvisations ENSEMBLE DOULCE MÉMOIRE (CD 1998 Dorian) US $9.16 Buy It Now 8h 3m
(EP41) Oh Land, Renaissance Girls - DJ CD US $4.96 Buy It Now 8h 5m
RENAISSANCE - SCHEHERAZADE & OTHER NEW CD US $26.21 Buy It Now 8h 6m
Qland by Qland (CD, Jan-2008, Renaissance Records (USA)) US $3.30 Buy It Now 8h 8m
Move Forward/Back to Lillie by Kandina Jane (CD, 2008, Renaissance Records... US $3.30 Buy It Now 8h 11m
Sixteen (The) Renaissance (Music For Inner Peace) CD (UK Import) NEW US $14.97 Buy It Now 8h 14m
Victoria De Los Angeles Sealed Angel Renaissance LP Box US $12.00 Buy It Now 8h 23m
RENAISSANCE Tales Of 1001 Nights Volume 1 I on Cassette Tape US $5.99 Buy It Now 8h 34m
RENAISSANCE Richard IX/Same(PROMO Stereo) 45 RPM IRS Records US $7.00 Buy It Now 8h 37m
M PEOPLE - RENAISSANCE/HOW CAN I LOVE YOU MORE (1994 JUKEBOX 7") US $2.49 Buy It Now 8h 38m
V/A: Marijuana Unknowns CD 1997 THEM Renaissance SWEET SMOKE Owen B DOPE FIENDS US $15.00 Buy It Now 9h
RENAISSANCE Self Titled US Psych LP NM Promo c/w Insert US $19.99 [0 bids]
9h 9m
"ITALIA: MUSIC OF THE RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE" GUIDONIAN HAND LP VG+ US $1.99 Buy It Now 9h 10m
Renaissance Christmas Celebration Waverly Consort LP Record Vinyl 33 FREE SHIP US $10.99 [0 bids]
US $14.29 Buy It Now
9h 32m
RENAISSANCE Vol 2 - ANTHONY PAPPA & RENNIE PILGREM 2xCD Sasha & Digweed Fans 90s US $11.59 Buy It Now 9h 40m
Renaissance by Chieli Minucci (CD, Jan-2009, CD Baby (distributor)) US $13.94 Buy It Now 10h 3m
RENAISSANCE Azure D'Or, original vinyl LP, 1979, VG+, prog, embossed jacket US $5.99 Buy It Now 10h 5m
CHIELI MINUCCI - RENAISSANCE NEW CD US $25.07 Buy It Now 10h 16m
Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes Renaissance US $7.99 [0 bids]
10h 19m
Renaissance Presents: The Therapy Sessions, Vol. 2 by Dave Seaman (CD,... US $10.00 Buy It Now 10h 19m
Renaissance - Innocents & Illusions 2 CD set sealed OOP US $54.00 Buy It Now 10h 28m
RENAISSANCE: Seasons (rock & pop vinyl LP) US $15.00 Buy It Now 10h 33m
RENAISSANCE THE CLASSICS 3 X CD NEW OLD SKOOL ANTHONY PAPPA MIX US $8.27 Buy It Now 10h 37m
Alan Stivell "Renaissance Of The Celtic Harpo", 1982 LP, Near Mint Condition US $7.95 Buy It Now 10h 41m
Renaissance: Revelation by Nick Warren used cd US $3.00 [0 bids]
10h 48m
Lonnie Liston Smith JAZZ LP Renaissance 1976 USA ISSUE US $19.98 Buy It Now 10h 53m
MOR-170 RENAISSANCE (Religious) Never Have To Run OOP NEW 12" Vinyl Record US $8.99 Buy It Now 11h
RENAISSANCE LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL 2 (TWO!) lp albums, GREAT GATEFOLD COVER TOO! US $5.95 Buy It Now 11h 10m
TONY CAREY Blue Highway 2008 Renaissance Brand New CD 80s Jimmy Barnes Planet P US $19.57 Buy It Now 11h 11m
MIRACLES - RENAISSANCE / DO IT BABY NEW CD US $21.61 Buy It Now 11h 16m
Beau Houston-Rogue Renaissance CD NEW US $14.57 Buy It Now 11h 29m
Used CD - The Association - Renaissance US $19.99 Buy It Now 11h 36m
Unknown Artist Gregorian Chant & Renaissance Music CD US $4.03 Buy It Now 12h 5m
Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning 1973 Capitol orig. LP US $9.99 Buy It Now 12h 28m
Renaissance by Savoir Faire (CD, Nov-2003, Swallow Records) US $11.50 Buy It Now 12h 49m
Raw As You Wanna Be (CD Soundtrack, 1996, Renaissance) LIKE NEW US $3.99 [0 bids]
US $5.99 Buy It Now
12h 54m
RENAISSANCE LP IN THE BEGINNING PLAY GRADED NM/NM- US $7.99 [0 bids]
US $11.00 Buy It Now
13h 11m
RENAISSANCE - ASHES ARE BURNING [RENAISSANCE] [4009910457528] - NEW CD US $7.08 Buy It Now 13h 25m
Donald Bousted, Whale Songs for two renaissance recorders. OMP100 US $22.64 Buy It Now 13h 29m
Benjamin Thorn, Do It Yourself Renaissance Improvisation for Recorder - OMP051 US $20.39 Buy It Now 13h 29m
64 Music CD lot Rock Pop JOHN MAYER STEFANI EVERCLEAR RENAISSANCE CORRS ENYA US $25.00 [0 bids]
13h 34m
Los Ministriles: Spanish Renaissance Wind Music  Pifarro  Minty CD  New Case US $7.50 Buy It Now 13h 40m
Renaissance by Lionel Richie (CD, Mar-2001, Island (Label)) US $0.99 [0 bids]
14h 3m
A Promise of Peace Lee Saunders CD Renaissance Records (USA) Brand New US $12.95 Buy It Now 14h 6m
Renaissance Sings David Ingles Arranged & Conducted by Rick Powell LP Tempo 1977 US $4.00 Buy It Now 14h 11m
RENAISSANCE VINYL Carnegie Hall double LP Live Record FREE US SHIPPING US $19.99 Buy It Now 14h 38m
GUSTAV LEONHARDT - ORGAN IN RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE NO (IMPORT) NEW CD US $26.21 Buy It Now 15h 6m
Vanilla Fudge Renaissance 1968 LP Psychadelic Rock ATCO SD 33-244 US $10.00 [0 bids]
US $17.50 Buy It Now
15h 17m
Renaissance of the Spirit: the music of Orlando di Lasso CD SEALED US $0.99 [0 bids]
15h 28m
IRON CHRIST EP 12 INCH VINYL RECORD WHITE LABEL PROMO NEW RENAISSANCE THRASH US $24.99 Buy It Now 15h 34m
Renaissance Presents Anthony Pappa & Rennie Pilgrem 2-CD set Vol. 2 US $7.00 Buy It Now 15h 36m
RENAISSANCE~SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER STORIES! 12" 33 RPM LP, NM !! ~1975~Sire Rec. US $17.50 [0 bids]
15h 45m
Renaissance Novella lp in vg+ US $7.00 Buy It Now 15h 50m

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RENAISSANCE shows & tickets


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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)

3.70 | 228 ratings
Renaissance
1969
2.98 | 157 ratings
Illusion
1971
3.68 | 298 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.22 | 483 ratings
Ashes Are Burning
1973
4.05 | 429 ratings
Turn Of The Cards
1974
4.30 | 772 ratings
Scheherazade And Other Stories
1975
3.67 | 280 ratings
Novella
1977
3.62 | 248 ratings
A Song for All Seasons
1978
2.98 | 140 ratings
Azure D'or
1979
2.31 | 88 ratings
Camera Camera
1981
1.64 | 80 ratings
Time-Line
1983
2.03 | 48 ratings
The Other Woman
1995
2.94 | 36 ratings
Ocean Gypsy
1997
2.28 | 41 ratings
Songs from Renaissance Days
1997
3.08 | 72 ratings
Tuscany
2000
3.32 | 80 ratings
Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
2013

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

4.23 | 159 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall
1976
3.75 | 50 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 1
1997
3.62 | 47 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2
1997
3.79 | 24 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
3.80 | 5 ratings
Live + Direct
2002
3.50 | 30 ratings
In The Land Of The Rising Sun
2002
3.12 | 7 ratings
British Tour '76
2006
3.11 | 10 ratings
Dreams & Omens
2008
3.93 | 24 ratings
Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert
2011

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

2.76 | 18 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)

2.55 | 9 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
De 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)

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
3.32 | 80 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
3.32 | 80 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
3.62 | 47 ratings

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

Review by rogerthat

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
3.32 | 80 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
4.22 | 483 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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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.32 | 80 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars A real prog album from the originators of Symphonic Prog. This elegant work is the best and most progressive album released by Renaissance since Novella in 1977. Annie Haslem is still in great voice at this late stage (amazing!) and the songs are true classical symphonic works that never veer toward the cliched. The standout songs are Grandine Il Vento, Symphony Of Light, The Mystic and The Muse and Blood Silver Like Moonlight (a beautiful duet with Annie sharing vocals with the great John Wetton.) My only complaint that I have is that I find some of Annie's "all is love and bliss" lyrics a bit trying on a couple of the songs. Aside from that, her lyrics are much improved from her solo work and the last Renaissance album,Tuscany, and are outstanding on the rest of the songs. New keyboard man Rave Tesar is an equal to the greats, John Hawkin and John Tout, that proceeded him and is probably the person most responsible for the sound of this album. BTW, I purchased an expanded edition of this album retitled A Symphony Of Light which includes three additional songs; one composed and recorded in honor of late guitarist/songwriter Michael Dunford that was, I believe, recorded just a few months after the Grindine Il Vento album was completed. Look out for it if you do not already own this album.

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 Ashes Are Burning by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.22 | 483 ratings

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Ashes Are Burning
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Briefly-popular during the latter half of the 1970s, symphonic folk-rock quintet Renaissance were initially formed by ex-Yardbird Keith Relf during the dying embers of the 1960s, the vocalist having tired with amost a decade worth of playing blues-based rock. Keen to try something new, Renaissance was Relf's ambitious attempt to stretch out musically, yet he would only stay with the group for a single album. That album was 1969's self- titled debut, which also featured Relf's sister Jane(vocals), Jim McCarty(percussion), John Hawken(piano) and Louis Cennamo(bass), none of whom feature on 'Ashes Are Burning'. Issued in 1973, this was the fourth Renaissance album overall, but the first to feature what is now recognised as the 'classic' line-up of Annie Haslam(vocals), Jon Tout(keyboards), Michael Dunford(guitar), Jon Camp(bass) and Terry Sullivan(drums), all of whom featured on previous album 'Prologue' bar Dunford, who replaced the outgoing guitarist Rob Hendry. Augmented by lyricist Betty Thatcher, this line-up would issue a trio of excellent albums from 'Ashes Are Burning' onwards, marrying strong classical influences with folk, rock and pop to create a thrilling brand of symphonic music. Whilst 1975's 'Scheherazade & Other Stories' is often referred to as the group's masterpiece, 'Ashes Are Burning' also deserves special mention for it's sheer power and bravado, showcasing the group's core creative force of Haslam's incredible five-octave vocals and Tout's lush piano-playing. The whole album proves a sumptuous treat, yet it is the two lengthy pieces that book-end the album that show off Renaissance at their very best. Opener 'Can You Understand?' starts a beautifully-judge piano medley that gathers in pace as it spirals towards it's satifyingly grandiose inclusion, whilst the epic title-track literally bursts into after another gorgeously-sung Haslam intro makes way for the booming bass rhythms and churning keyboards of the tracks powerful second half. In between, the pretty and melodic 'On The Frontier' and the anthemic 'Carpet Of The Sun' showcase the usual Renaissance trademarks, once again marrying strong classical tones with elegiac folk touches and the subtle medieval feel that permeates much of their best work. One of the group's trio of classic mid-seventies albums, 'Ashes Are Burning' may just be their most ambitious album, and certainly their darkest. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2O14

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 Turn Of The Cards  by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.05 | 429 ratings

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Turn Of The Cards
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars ''Ashes are burning'' had a major success in the States, entering the Billboard 200 and reaching No. 171.Renaissance had the chance to play live in the USA for the first time with surprisingly outstanding results, to the point they considered focusing more on the American market than the English one, who ignored them as a poor offshot of the classic Renaissance of the 60's.The band left Sovereign Records and signed with the newly established BTM Records of Mike Copeland.Their next album ''Turn of the cards'' was firstly released in the States on Sire Records in August 74', the English release came late in March 75' on BMT.

This time Renaissance focused on producing a grandiose Orchestral Progressive Rock with dominant string sections, acoustic guitars and piano as the leading instruments, but the vocal lines of Annie Haslam and the shorter tracks still retained an evident ethereal, folky flavor, based on soft drumming, dreamy piano and acoustic textures.''Things I don't understand'' was a regular piece among Renaissance's live gigs but it was recorded properly for the first time, somewhat connecting the early and present sound of the band, revealing strong psychedelic influences among smooth orchestrations and strong Classical flavors with a romantic mood.Despite entering the mid-70's, Renaissance's style remained pretty old-fashioned.The constant use of acoustic movements and the extended use of piano recall mostly of a band trying to become more artistic from the mass of 60's Psychedelic groups, and the delicate use of harsichord adds a very symphonic taste to the music.They attempt a cover of ''Adagio in G Minor'' of Baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni with ''Cold is being'', which is pretty great and highlighted by Haslam's dramatic voice and Tout's depressive church organ.''Mother Russia'' is the one track that really shined through time from this album, based on the self-biography of Russian writer and activist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.The band captures the feeling of the cold Soviet winter in a dramatic Symphonic Rock with nice twists between string lines, marching parts and bombastic orchestrations.However the finest piece to my ears appears to be ''Black flame'', led by a beautiful acoustic guitar/organ intro and Haslam's poetic vocals and developing into a charming Piano/Symphonic Rock with polyphonic lines, romantic piano textures and charming harsichord.

Well-crafted album with some amazing orchestrations.Sounds pretty dated at moments for the year it was released and the one-dimensional guitar/piano dual executions are a bit annoying to lead a whole album.On the other hand Haslam's unique vocals, the lovely symphonic mood and the rich arrangements are elements you can hardly turn your back to.Warmly recommended.

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 Ashes Are Burning by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.22 | 483 ratings

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Ashes Are Burning
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by ebil0505

5 stars I truly do believe this album deserves five stars. It is a masterpiece of progressive rock, in my opinion, and it is so different from many other A-list prog bands. Annie Haslam's voice may be the most beautiful voice in progressive rock. Their style of playing only justifies their name and sends the listener to the Renaissance of Prog.

"Can You Understand?" has been a favorite of mine for what seems like years, though it's probably just a bit over a year. The piano instantly caught my attention and then took me for a ride once the song really picked up. Some of Haslam's best singing is in this song, especially when paired with such elegant lyrics. This ~10 minute song is a fine reminder why we enjoy dedicating our full attention to the music we listen to.

"Let it Grow" is a gentle song (like several Renaissance hits) and will not disappoint the love-struck listener who pours his/her heart out of their ears. Don't take that too seriously.

"On the Frontier" develops very nicely. If you ever find yourself in a good mood, this song will happily sing along with you. The transitions between each section smooth over nicely, which makes the song sound like a miniature escape all by itself.

"Carpet of the Sun" is the hit of the album. Want a catchy tune that sounds like the Renaissance era without being too classic? Here ya go.

"At the Harbour" borrows Claude Debussy's Sunken Cathedral piano concerto to beautifully meld this spacious melody. Haslam shows off her range and delicateness during the peak of the chorus, her voice like a shower of sound.

"Ashes are Burning" is, for me, the peak of the album. It starts off just as you'd expect a Renaissance song to start off; with a catchy rhythm and dreamy instrumentals. Once this song truly peaks after some nice changes and mood swings, the final build up is epic and ends the album perfectly. Fans of Yes's "Starship Trooper" would probably like this ending as it is their version of "Wurm", theoretically speaking of course.

I highly recommend this album for some easy listening. Gentle yet memorable, this album has it's unique symphonic sound that gives new meaning to the subgenre.

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 Novella by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.67 | 280 ratings

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Novella
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Frankie Flowers

4 stars There's no doubt this is an exquisite album. I have read reviews complaining that sonically 'Novella' has the same old sound as Renaissance's previous albums, but I have always felt it is different and has more of a diversity of moods, even more so than on other releases. I totally agree that Annie Haslam's vocals reach a peak here. 'Can You Here Me' opens with the typical strings, and piano but it has a lovely, quiet dreamy passage reminiscent of some Genesis pieces. 'Sisters' has the most harrowing, tragic theme and the most touching of all Renaissance music I have heard to date. It is absolutely beautiful and leaves me with goosebumps every time. The use of more acoustic guitar is noticeable on Novella as well as different keyboard sounds which were used on Scheherazade as well to create great atmosphere, on this album though the arrangements also create spiritual dimensions especially on 'Midas Man'. It is just brilliant and includes chants and other harmonies in the mix. The first half of the album is really reflective while the second half is brighter and more typical of the band's sound, melodic and uplifting. The closing and second epic piece has an excellent build up and the nice Russian style piano is showcased. Make no mistake Novella is a well written, eclectic release and the creative juices were still flowing in this group! It should be in a fan's collection.

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