Renaissance – Symphony of Light

Renaissance’s music performs in majestic splendor inside the music of our heart. Their progressive rock sound intersects classic symphony and famous literature at various points throughout the Renaissance catalog.

Mother Russia” a song about Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn is played with strength and conviction. Ever present as well is a “Song of Scheherazade” an epic tone-poem based upon stories from One Thousand and One Nights.

If I had to say what my favorite Renaissance classic track was it would be, “Ashes Are Burning” from the album by the same name (1973).

These are some of the progressive rock foundation works that Renaissance successfully builds upon with the recording, Symphony of Light, a renaming of Grandine il Vento originally issued in 2013. Symphony of Light has three added bonus tracks, “Immortal Beloved”, “Tonight”, and “Renaissance Man”, a song specially written by Annie Haslam and Rave Tesar in honor of the late Michael Dunford. The album has new artwork design and the release date by Red River Entertainment is April 15th 2014.

Symphony of Light  is a testament to the unforgettable melodies and love that Michael Dunford infused into his work. Michael died prematurely in 2012 after this album was finished. The album starts off with powerful lyrics by Annie Haslam in the title track about the life of Leonardo da Vinci followed by Waterfall, a song written about the rainforests in Brazil. All the songs bathe the listener in flavors from far off countries, with lush orchestral arrangements and unusual lyrical content, with guest performances from Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and John Wetton (Asia).

Renaissance is:

Annie Haslam lead vocals, Rave Tesar keyboards, David J Keyes bass guitar, Jason Hart keyboards, Frank Pagano drums, Ryche Chlanda acoustic guitars


1. Symphony of Light

2. Waterfall

3. Grandine il Vento

4. Porcelain

5. Cry to The World

6. Air of Drama

7. Blood Silver Like Moonlight

8. The Mystic and The Muse

9. Tonight

10. Immortal Beloved

11. Renaissance Man


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Let’s Help Kickstart Renaissance’s Next Studio Album, Grandine il Vento

Renaissance, 1979. Clockwise from upper left: ...

The Renaissance momentum took hold for us last year when we attended their live concert at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Ct.  Renaissance built upon the success of that innovative Northeast tour by filming and releasing a multimedia DVD/CD of their live concert.

The energy surrounding the progressive rock group Renaissance is building and here is how you can make a contribution to the mutual success of their next studio album, Grandine il Vento.

Grandine il Vento

Renaissance is taking the next step in their rich legacy by recording, Grandine il Vento in the studio. They are projecting  it will be ready and released by September, 2012. They need our help to finance their initiative. It’s unfortunate that the major record labels no longer care about the music Renaissance makes nor most of the music we love. It’s yet another example why major labels are such dinosaurs in the digital age. Here’s your chance to prove the labels how wrong they are and to support the new music business economy model that is happening on a major scale with Kickstarter.

If you are a grass-roots activist, someone who believes in the artist and their art coming to market join with us Renaissance enthusiasts and make a contribution to the Kickstarter project. Its titled the New Renaissance Studio Album: Grandine il Vento, a Rock project in Philadelphia, PA by Renaissance. I mean after all doesn’t music belong to the people, the artists and those of us who embrace its value.

You will find a vast array of pledge opportunities with rewards ranging from advance copies of the album to VIP tickets to concerts, original paintings, executive producer credits, home concerts, plus special items from their private memorabilia collections including two historic guitars and the dress Annie Haslam wore on BBC’s Top Of The Pops.

Renaissance – Concert Review, Infinity Music Hall, September 16, 2011

We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful evening midst the rolling hills of Connecticut for Renaissance in concert at Infinity Music Hall.

Infinity Music Hall has such superb acoustics. The hall is an architectural wonder, a visual treat for the eyes and senses. We usually get our seats in the mezzanine, overlooking the main floor. This provides us with a great vantage point to watch the musicians as well as the entire stage.

Renaissance designed a unique concert experience in performing two of their best albums, Turn of the Cards (1974) and Scheherazade and Other Stories (1975) back to back, playing every track in logical sequence. These two albums actually follow each other in the Renaissance discography forming the heart of their catalog.  It made perfect sense to witness their music performed in concert as we listen to it on the recording. I long for the days when WNEW-FM, 102.7 NY City featured progressive album rock.

The band was in top form initiating “Running Hard”, as Annie Haslam joined the stage to enthusiastic applause. Annie Haslam acknowledged her fans with equal gusto. Turn of the Cards unfolded quickly before us as Michael Dunford pointed out. “Black Flame” and “Mother Russia” were my favorite songs of the first set.

Scheherazade and Other Stories, the second set, took us in a whole different magical direction. I found myself  thoroughly intrigued with this series of songs. “Trip to the Fair” opens the album, taking us to a fair in the renaissance age. “Ocean Gypsy” took us to the water’s edge, a  place of utter tranquility.

“Song of Scheherazade” which is performed in 9 movements was happily beyond the masterpiece I envisioned it might be live. My music appreciation was enhanced with new found dimensional harmonies, richly accented by the dual keyboard interplay.  The band worked in collaborative splendor to create elegant music baroque. I was ecstatic to float in dream  sequence on the puffy clouds Renaissance formed all around us.

The evening ended with a single encore (I must admit I felt guilty after listening to two full recordings of great music requesting more…). “Mystic and the Muse” failed to disappoint. It was yet another high point of the evening as Annie Haslam reached her highest arias to our blissful astonishment.

Renaissance was very accommodating to their fans. We love that Infinity Music Hall has a designated area for merchandise sales, meet and greet/ autograph sessions. We purchased the 2011 Tour Poster and had it signed by all the members of the group. It was such a thrill to meet Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford at the autograph table. It means a lot when you can exchange a few words with people you admire.

Set 1 – Turn of the Cards

Image via Wikipedia
  1. Running Hard
  2. I Think of You
  3. Things I Don’t Understand
  4. Black Flame
  5. Cold Is Being
  6. Mother Russia

Intermission (15 minutes)

Set 2 – Scheherazade and Other Stories

  1. Trip to the Fair
  2. The Vultures Fly High
  3. Ocean Gypsy
  4. Song of Scheherazade
  1. i. Fanfare
  2. ii. The Betrayal
  3. iii. The Sultan
  4. iv. Love Theme
  5. v. The Young Prince and Princess as told by Scheherazade
    Scheherazade and Other Stories
    Image via Wikipedia
  6. vi. Festival Preparations
  7. vii. Fugue for the Sultan
  8. viii. The Festival
  9. ix. Finale
  1. Mystic and the Muse

Renaissance 2011 U.S. Fall Tour

Renaissance To Perform Two Of Their Most Successful Albums in Their Entirety

Progressive British rock band, Renaissance announced that they will be performing two of their most successful albums, ‘Turn Of The Cards’ and ‘Scheherazade’ in their entirety on a Northeast US tour this Fall.

Band principles Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford noted, “When our agent Wayne Forte (Entourage Talent Associates) and new manager Bruce Garfield suggested that we present to fans the ‘evening with’ and two complete albums concept, we loved it immediately and picked two of our favorites. Fan reaction has been great as are early ticket sales”.

The band recently enlisted manager and former label executive Bruce Garfield of MonsterWorks, Inc. to take over guidance of their career. “I love the musical elegance of Renaissance and have always enjoyed taking on clients with established track records with whom I can work closely and maximize the full potential of their career.”

We’re ticketed to see Renaissance at one of our favorite venues on September 16, Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Ct. Infinity Hall seats 300 people.

Here is a YouTube video from Renaissance’s sold out concert last year at Infinity Hall on July 14, 2010.  “Carpet of the Sun”, is my hands-down favorite song 🙂