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Renaissance - Live At Carnegie Hall CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.26 | 225 ratings

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5 stars A masterpiece symphonic prog live act!

This live album represented one of the finest and best live recordings in the seventies. I did not have a chance to have the album at time of release because it was not available in my country by that time. I only got the CD version in 1999 and I immediately loved this CD. I imagined how the show was performed with the backing of New York Philharmonic Orchestra. I expected the album was something special because they brought in the full orchestra members for the show which by that time it was only Rick Wakeman "Journey To The Center of The Earth" who made orchestra as part of his concert.

The concert was as part of their promo of just released and ground breaking album "Scheherazade and Other Stories" - an album that represented my first introduction to Renaissance. It was quite surprising actually with the fact that this band happened after the break up of the Yardbirds in early 1968, because the music of Renaissance is totally different with The Yardbirds. But I favor Renaissance more than Yardbirds which the music is more on rock'n'roll. Renaissance redefined their previous band music style by including real orchestra in the band.

This live album sounds like it was played in a formal way as it is opened with a welcoming speech by Dunford for the audience in a formal way. The band selected the set list wisely, representing from their previous albums, starting with "Prologue" which is performed excellently through vocal harmony. From the style, it sounds fit the song represents a fit with the live nuance that starts something before the main body is presented through "preface" (prologue). "Ocean Gypsy" is a song with catchy melody and through this live performance, Annie Haslam presents her vocal wholeheartedly - and in fact it's more accentuation than its studio version.

The combined work or orchestra and keyboard / piano throughout this album indicates cohesiveness of the music. You can observe it through songs like "Can You Understand", "Carpet of The Sun" and "Running Hard". One thing noticeable also is on how tight the bass guitar was played. The bass guitar does not seem to played roles as beats keeper. "Mother Russia" is a great song from "Turn of The Cards" album and has become one of Renaissance favorites in addition to Ocean Gypsy as well as Scheherazade.

Disc Two contain two major epics by the band. The first one is "Scheherazade" which has its own beauty in its studio version. The key strength of this epic is on its catchy melody and complex arrangements using orchestra. In fact, this track is the main attraction for me to purchase the CD even though other tracks in this live set are all excellent.

Overall, I would recommend those of you who really want to explore progressive music from the glory days of the 70s. The music of Renaissance is quite unique that no other band emulated their style at that time. It's partly due to their unique compositions, and unique lead vocal by Annie Haslam. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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