CD REVIEW: “Symphony of Light” by English prog-rock band Renaissance

Posted April 16th, 2014 by genestout

Renaissance in Atlanta 2013 (photo:

Renaissance in Atlanta 2013 (photo:


The orchestral pop of Renaissance would have been ideal for a KCTS pledge drive, had such a thing existed in the 1970s. (I was about to say pledge “break,” but it appears that the breaks today are PBS programming interrupting the ocean of infomercials.)

Amazingly, even though composer Michael Dunford died in 2012 of a cerebral hemorrhage, the endearingly pretentious progressive-rock group (“The rain it falls into my room,” singer Annie Haslam writes, “I become an ocean to sail away on”) has a new album.

Funded by Kickstarter, “Symphony of Light” (on Symphonic Rock Recordings, naturally, via Red River Entertainment) kicks off with the title song, dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. (“And about time,” one can imagine ol’ Leo saying.)

It’s ideal for fans of the grandiose (Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson plays flute on “Cry to the World”) and, perhaps, of latter-day Celtic Woman (personally, I’m partial to the first CW pledge special, when the women didn’t lip-sync and some in the audience clearly were snickering at the “Riverdance”-inspired concept).

Visit the band’s website and learn about remaining spring 2014 concerts here.

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