Renaissance Fanfare

Fans of Renaissance and Annie Haslam

From Renaissance official MySpace page:

"Renaissance have been busy recording some new 'spectacular symphonic masterpieces' and will be releasing an EP to be sold at the upcoming shows. Their new CD will be released early next year. The brand new Renaissance website will be up and running very soon, it will be informative and unusual in many ways. The site was designed by Annie Haslam and is based around 10 of her paintings. There will be merchandise for sale and a blog to keep up with the band's activities. Slated for a Spring release on Friday Music, is a DVD/CD set of the band's epic CD 'Scheherazade and Other Stories' along with a DVD of promotional footage of the band performing unplugged at Millhouse Studio, Maidenhead and also on a soundstage at Bray Film Studios in the UK, 1979."

Update April 20: New website has been leaked:

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This video must be from the Millhouse Studio "unplugged" session
The Scheherazade CD+DVD is being sold on the tour.

Video length is 18:24, tracks are:

Jekyll and Hyde
Forever Changing
The Winter Tree
Carpet of the Sun
Secret Mission

All of these have been on Youtube in part or in full.

Strangely, the DVD doesn't play right on my Mac -- can't get to menus from the title sequence. I had to play it using VLC to check out the video quality (pretty good, a bit soft with muted colors.)

The title of the disc appears on the computer as "MY_GREAT_DVD".
Update after reviewing the Scheherazade DVD on my (modest) home theater:

The DVD authoring is not broken, only slightly unusual: there is no root (main) menu, you just press "play" while the opening animation is playing. There are no separate tracks, just a single 18-minute one.

Audio is a bit muffled but perfectly acceptable. Video colors are muted, as previously noted. Footage is not digitally sharpened which makes it appear soft, but the quality is actually quite good.
No menu, no separate track and the anachronism of linking this DVD to Scheherazade instead of Azure d'Or.

I confess that I'll buy it anyway.

But I'm angry.
On my DVD player, it took me 5 minutes to find out how to start. None of the keys "play", "menu", "top menu" or "next" had any effect. The only key that worked was "enter".

On my Mac, when I insert the DVD, the DVD player opens and says the DVD has already been read and that I have to choose where to start.

Review by Russ Elliot at Musical Discoveries:

The DVD, Renaissance Filmed At Mill House and Bray Studios 1979, is an absolute must see video for long time enthusiasts. It features five of the band's well known songs recorded in the studio and in the soundstage format,. This is the first time these have been released commercially, properly discovered by the band in the Warner Music vaults. Although previously available, but unacceptable for proper viewing at YouTube, the DVD provides witness to the angelic and operatic vocals of Annie Haslam and the endless energy of Michael Dunford on guitars and vocals, Jon Camp on bass, John Tout on keyboards and Terry Sullivan on drums.

While the audio is good, don't expect its treatment to equal the CD part of this release. The DVD includes classics "Carpet Of The Sun," "Secret Mission," "The Winter Tree," "Forever Changing" and "Jekyll and Hyde." The DVD is however well produced -- far better than bootlegs that circulated previously -- with reasonable quality audio and full color video in also in acceptable quality. Careful listeners will hear a few problems with the master tapes that could not be overcome. Studio camera work for the production was done very well clearly revealing each of the musicians' contributions. The video tracks are also individually titled.


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