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Mark Nowakowski

Voices of the Empire - VoE

Eastwest’s Voices of the Empire: New software instrument review

Eastwest’s Voices of the Empire (VoE) is available both as stand-alone software and as part of Eastwest’s cloud subscription service. While we are generally not fans of cloud based services in this column, Eastwest is an exception. Their subscription package is absolutely the best deal on the market.

Hollywood Choirs splash page.

Hollywood Choirs by Eastwest: Reviewing a new virtual instrument package

The available sonic resources in Hollywood Choirs allow users to craft soundscapes running the gamut from a close-mic’d dry sound to the most ethereal European sacred music cathedral atmospheres, aided by new Impulse Reverbs on board. For inspiration alone, these sounds are worth having at your disposal.

Bella Voce in concert: Visceral and reverent Bach and Pärt

CHICAGO, Oct. 8, 2015 − Conductor Andrew Lewis seems to have a certain knack for molding the sparse yet arresting musical landscapes in the music of Arvo Pärt. Coaxing forth the mystical undertones underpinning the famed Estonian’s sonic contemplations, Lewis’s Bella Voce choir showed itself to be well prepared to perform a music that is often ...

Review: Soundiron’s ‘Voice of Rapture’ Soprano and Bass

CHICAGO, Aug. 30, 2015 – We recently received for review a package of Soprano and Bass “Voice of Rapture” products, part of Soundiron’s “Solo Voices” line. Both packages are separate, monophonic instruments that make a great contribution to vocal sample literature. The Soprano instrument features singer Nichole Dechaine, who, according to Soundiron, was chosen “specifically ...

CD Review: ‘New Seasons’ for a new century

CHICAGO, June 28, 2015 – Today, we review an intriguing new Deutsche Grammophon recording that exemplifies our developing 21st century classical music era. It’s offered by violinist Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica, a chamber ensemble of young Baltic musicians hailing from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that he founded in 1997. Where new music is concerned ...

CD Review: ‘Tintinnabuli,’ performed by the Tallis Scholars

CHICAGO, April 23, 2015 – It is difficult to believe that there was a time not so long ago when good performances – let alone quality recordings – were very difficult to come by when it came to the music of Arvo Pärt, now the world’s most performed living composer. Yet in the tumultuous time ...

Review: Chicago ensemble Bella Voce Camerata’s “Stabat Mater”

CHICAGO, March 13, 2015 – There are those rare performances where location, atmosphere, and ensemble commitment to luminous works of music seem to create a transcendent experience that lodges itself in the memory, leaving a palpable mark that long outlives the dying of its final notes. Sunday night’s “Stabat Mater” performance by Chicago’s own Bella ...

Rediscoveries: Soviet-era composer Mieczysław Weinberg

CHICAGO, March 6, 2015 – Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in the music of Soviet-era composer Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996). Recordings have begun appearing on major labels, along with the Chicago Lyric Opera’s currently running revival of his powerful opera “The Passenger.” Now, ECM New Series has added its significant voice to the growing ...

Christmas gifting with a musical lilt – The best gifts for musicians

CHICAGO, December 24th, 2014 – As the holidays draw ever closer, you may be finding yourself in a bind regarding what to get for that special musician on your gift list. Just in the Saint Nick of time, we at the Communities Arts & Entertainment section give you a last-minute selection of new items and ...