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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb if a little formulaic, 14 Sept. 2008
By 
TheFeenee (Northern England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Symphony (Audio CD)
This album is my introduction to Ed's music and, on the strength of this one CD, I will be buying many more. I saw Ed busking in York last weekend and was simply captivated by the sound that he conjures from his (blue!) electric violin. This album is serious enough to be called a symphony, although I noticed that other CDs contained interpretations of Pink Floyd and Coldplay amoungst others.

I am quite a Philip Glass fan and the opening of 'Symphony In G Minor' (Allegretto) is very Philip Glass with a simply, fast repeating theme overlaid with the melody. We soon settle down to a 'Passacaglia & Fugue' which, whilst not challenging, is very pleasant. The third movement of this, far too short, work is Adagio and is by far the most successful part of the work. Imagine Michael Nyman re-scoring 'Lawrence of Arabia' or something of equal epic-ness! In fact the whole work would make a superb film score- this is not a belittling comment- the sound is wide, sweeping and majestic. The final movement 'Gigue' starts off with the jollity of an English folk dance before re-introducing the Glass influence and coming to a very satisfying conclusion.

There then follows 6 individual tracks. The first '5 strings' is, for me, the highlight of the album. A very simple electronic theme overlaid with a soaring melody which just takes you into the sky. Brilliant!
'Last Forever' is very, for me, Tangerine Dream. As Froese has been in my top 5 for the past 25 years, this is a great compliment! 'Good Times' and 'Good Times 2' are good but not up with the other tracks. 'Dawn of a darker day' is a 9'30" opus which, for me, does not really seem to get going- always on the verge of being great but remaining merely good. The final track 'Glass Bead Game' is a fabulous bit of music! Gentle lulling you into a dream-like state before exploding into a frenzy and back into 4 minutes of beautiful 'wind-down' melody (with a short 'frenzy' repeat!). Silly, but it gets me in the same way that Pink Floyd's 'Echoes' does.

Listen to this entire album (and you get your pennies worth at 70 mins) in the dark with a few candles on. It is simply great and this guy deserves to be very famous.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and Enthralling, 12 Oct. 2008
By 
Stephen Corp "The Scorpion" (Premier League Hull) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Symphony (Audio CD)
I was introduced to EA-J's music only two weeks ago and since have collected four of his albums. At present I have kept to his individual recordings, not those with his wife Denyse or his cover albums. Symphony comes close to his debut album as it contains plenty of interesting melodies, though it may take several more listenings before I could agree that it matches his earlier masterpiece.

In the Symphony No. 1 section of the album, I really do like his opening Allegretto/Largo combining a quick style returning to a hummable repeated melody. For me the Passacaglia & Fugue isn't as memorable, but the pleasant melodies return in the Adagio. The Gigue reminds of a Celtic country dance before alternating with the haunting melody of the opening track.

When Ed moves over to his six individual pieces the mood changes. Five Strings is a well worked catchy piece with an underlying background rhythm - something of the sensuality of Ravel's Bolero. Last Forever reminds me of his Oxford Suite pieces with the pulsating rhythms and intertwined melody. Good Times is just an ordinary background sound being inoffensive but lacking in a strong hook. It reminds me of an average Mike Oldfield track without the guitars. Dawn of a Darker Day also reminds me of his Oxford Suite without hitting the heights of PEVC1. Good Times 2 has more going for it than the longer version of Track 7. Perhaps it is now my familiarity of his earlier piece? Glass Bead Game takes time to develop though picks up with the rock style interventions. EA-J is a creative talent and Symphony definitely is good value for money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical find of the year, 7 Oct. 2008
By 
This review is from: Symphony (Audio CD)
I too came across EA-J busking on the streets of York this summer and was captivated by the sound he produced. 45 minutes later I was still entranced and had bought a CD from him. A few weeks later I heard his violin again in York, once more I stopped to listen, and again purchased a CD; this one. The Symphony is wonderful, with echoes of Glass, Nyman and Copland, but do not let these references put you off, Ed's musical style is open and welcoming. The remaining tracks on the disc do not disappoint either, utilising the full range of Ed's musicianship and his mastery of the technology. If you have not listened to electric violin before, or to a modern symphony, keep an open mind and try this CD it is a gem. EA-J is certainly my musical find of the year.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Better For It, 30 Jan. 2009
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This review is from: Symphony (Audio CD)
The great thing about performing a single track with only effects pedals, delays and loops as Ed does on his earlier solo albums is that you get exactly the kind of brilliant music you heard him playing on the streets of Oxford, York or Chester, my own home town.

In 'Symphony', however Ed has, of necessity, adopted the multi-tracking and mixing that he formerly eschewed and in my opinion the album is the better for it as it gives greater scope not only for the layering essential to achieve the "symphonic" orchestral effect but also for displaying his not inconsiderable multi-instrumental skills.

Like previous reviewers, I think this would make an excellent film score; without facetiousness I'd say the rich and immensely fulfilling Adagio would make an outstanding love theme. The tracks following the Symphony "Six Pieces for Strings" are Ed Alleyne-Johnson as we've come to know and love him; exciting and original and not just a filler for the rest of the album

I am completely in awe of this man and have been ever since I stood in amazement the first time I heard him playing. This is his best yet; buy it if you haven't already.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 28 May 2011
This review is from: Symphony (Audio CD)
Modern classics for rock and classical listeners alike. Don't expect the usual everyday plagiarisms. These are first class up-tempo originals. For those who veer more towards classical try also "Purple Electric Violin Concerto Nos. 1 and 2" and for rock-music lovers don't miss "Echoes" and "Arpeggio" by the same artist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 14 Dec. 2008
By 
Fiona Millar "cookiemum" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Symphony (Audio CD)
This is the first album I turn to when I want some lovely classical music playing to relax and soothe me. Ed's music is beautiful and his ingenius compositions soar around the room and uplift you - I will be adding to my collection of this talented musician's CDs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Symphony - electronic violin, 6 July 2009
By 
Mozilla (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Symphony (MP3 Download)
Ed Alleyne Johnson is a virtuoso of the electronic violin. Everything he plays has flair and originality. This collection of classical and modern pieces is an excellent example of his art. Fantastic music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good album. Not his best but one of the ..., 25 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Symphony (Audio CD)
Big Ed fan here. Good album. Not his best but one of the better ones. That's only a relative comment though because they are all good IMO.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Aug. 2014
By 
Stephen McGuigan (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Symphony (Audio CD)
A classic
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Symphony
Symphony by Ed Alleyne-Johnson (Audio CD - 2009)
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