Blackmore's Night
A Knight In York

2012, UDR Music/EMI
Renaissance Rock

Un'altra notte magica al cospetto di Ritchie Blackmore e Candice Night...
Review by Gaetano Loffredo - Publish on: 28/06/12

Translation by Elisa Bonora

One more magical night, one more moment to be remembered forever, a precious case to treasure just like the others: "A Knight In York", the fourth live by the married couple Ritchie and Candice, will be released these days. After the first two lives recorded in Germany, “Past Times With Good Company” (cd only) and “Castle & Dreams” (dvd only), and a third one in France, “Paris Moon” (cd and dvd), it’s Great Britain’s turn with the band performing in the prestigious setting of the York Opera House. I don’t think the fans truly felt the need to see the umpteenth live recording of the band, anyway any Blackmore’s Night show is filled with magic, so it’s always a pleasure to go back to their realm looking for that tiny detail, that perfect note, that ancient melody... and see the reaction of the cultured audience who join them in a travel through time.


30 September 2011, almost a year ago. Those who – just like us – had the pleasure of attending those memorable summer performances through German and Czech castles and medieval towns cannot miss this document which recalls and reflects that tour perfectly. The real news is the addition of a medium that has become a must for the most demanding fans – the blu-ray, which adds visual pleasure to audio. All in all, DVD and Blu-Ray cannot even be compared: the high definition allows to enjoy even the moments when the lights go dark in the old York theatre. In fact, if some parts of the dvd look dark or not clear, the hd version tastes completely different, and you’ll be able to distinguish every single move and detail perfectly, even in the background. And you won’t need to strain your eyes to enjoy the close-ups of Ritchie’s solos. The audio versions are there too, of course – we have the classical CD and the very limited edition of the triple LP. Unfortunately, apart from a DVD + CD fan edition, the pieces are sold separately and we don’t know of any bundle version with compact audio and blu-ray in the same package. A pity.


THE SHOW


Their broad experience in the universe of Renaissance Rock has shaped them to (almost) perfection in a live setting. Ritchie Blackmore (the best living guitarist in the world if you ask me, matching Jimi Hendrix in the ranking of the most important guitarists ever) and Candice Night are the heart and soul of Renaissance nights, and their band fellows, even though they keep on coming and going, are always required to grant exceptional performances since the Man In Black, the personification of perfection, wouldn’t tolerate a single wrong note. The setlist is clearly focused on the last album but one “The Secret Voyage” and the latest one dedicated to the couple’s baby girl, “Autumn Sky” (by the way, congratulations for her newborn brother) which, like we already said, is definitely not their best release but earns some extra points when performed live. The fascinating location fades away as the band appears onstage playing the opening song of the past few years, “Locked Within The Crystal Ball”, followed by the wonderful “Gilded Cage” with that violin riff which, to me, recalls the Italian traditional tune “O’ Sole Mio” – don’t you agree? The highlights of the show are the medley “Midwinter’s Night” and “Dandelion Wine”, “Darkness”, “Fires At Midnight” (always played, maybe too often actually), and their own version of “First Of May” in the end. I won’t list every detail and song played, but I do want to mention Candice’s brilliant performance, wonderfully accompanied by Gypsy Rose’s violin and Ritchie’s wide range of guitars. Two side notes: the lights and stage setting should have been taken care of much more, because if you choose to release a blu-ray you must exceed your usual standards; also, not only is the Lady Gaga sketch inappropriate, it’s also very annoying and not suited to a band whose masterpieces must have nothing to do with throwaway music. I really cannot tolerate this, I could turn a blind eye on the big rabbit of Minstrel Hall (those who know the band get what I mean), but not on this. Good filming on the whole.


Ok, I’m almost done. “A Knight In York” cannot be missed by avid fans and collectors, who are advised to get both the Blu-Ray and the carefully recorded audio version. It’s not the best Blackmore’s Night live product, and “Paris Moon” wasn’t either: German castles and old towns are so much better than any theatre, and the setlist leaves out too many masterpieces from the past to be considered the top. We’re left with a nice snapshot of Blackmore’s Night today, and a Renaissance touch for those who wish to leave the present days and dive into a past that only Blackmore’s Night can bring to life this way – real, vivid, romantic as it can be…





01. Locked Within The Crystal Ball
02. Gilded Cage
03. The Circle
04. Journeyman
05. World Of Stone
06. The Peasant‘s Promise
07. Toast To Tomorrow
08. Fires At Midnight
09. Barbara Allen
10. Darkness
11. Dance Of The Darkness
12. Midwinter’s Night/Dandelion Wine
13. All The Fun Of The Fayre
14. First Of May

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