Music Divine

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Many Music Divine concert CDs are now available

The following concert recordings are ready to ship: 

  • Josquin Desprez: Missa Une Mousse de Biscaye  First 11/2005; Last 11/2011

  • Not Only Noël  12/2010

  • Renaissance Pastoral  4/2010
     
  • O Primavera  4/2009

  • Jakob Obrecht: Missa Salve diva parens  12/2008 

  • War & Peace  6/2008

  • Ockeghem motets;  Salve Regina by Obrecht, Martini, Morales, & Victoria  3/2008
     
  • Dawn of Classical Music:  Isaac & Josquin (NY Early Music Celebration)  10/2007

  • Heinrich Isaac: Missa Een vrolic wesen, Quis dabit, Virgo prudentissima  10/2006
Read details about all of these concerts at
Listen to selected pieces at
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Final_Concert.jpeg

On Sunday, November 20, 2011

MUSIC DIVINE 

presented its FINAL, FAREWELL concert

at St. Mark's in-the-Bowery

See Past Concerts and Events

          But keep checking this website periodically, as we expand the archive of our concert history, adding Program Notes and Recorded Performance excerpts.  We have also begun to make available on CD complete recordings of many of our concerts.

A farewell note from Music Divine's founder and director:

Music Divine began in the summer of 2005, at the suggestion of some singers who used to meet at an Upper West Side apartment on a fairly regular basis to sing Renaissance music under my direction.  We went 'live' that November with a concert featuring both the mass by Josquin Desprez with which Music Divine will come to a close, and a mass by Heinrich Isaac based on the same chanson.  Since then we have presented about three programs each year, mostly in NYC, and performed regularly at the biannual Boston Early Music Festival in June.  After six years, I feel I need at least a sabbatical, when I will be free of the responsibility of creating concert programs, preparing music, recruiting singers, rehearsing, finding venues, doing publicity and finances, writing program notes, and directing concerts.  Many members of Music Divine, and others, have greatly assisted me in most of these tasks, and I thank you all heartily.  And I am grateful to our audience members, many of whom we saw at almost every concert.  But at this point I need a break from all of the obsessive work involved in keeping a group like ours going.   However, I do intend to remain active in New York's early music scene.  I am glad that Music Divine has been able to bring musical joy to so many of you.

Steve Bonime
November 2011

P.S.  Now that I no longer have Music Divine rehearsals on Mondays, I have become free to join Canticum Novum Singers, and let Harold Rosenbaum do all the work (except for learning and singing my part).  I am immensely enjoying rehearsing (singing) Renaissance Christmas music for concerts December 16 and 17, and Bach's B Minor Mass for May 19  The Bach will be performed in the same wonderful space as this year's Green Mountain production of the "Vespers of 1640" by Monteverdi et al.

P.P.S. (12/2011)  I've also joined Cerddorion,whose next concert features great works by Monteverdi, Purcell, Bach, and Brahms.  The Purcell funeral music for Queen Mary is new for me, but I sang Bach's Cantata 106 way back in college, and in the '90s I conducted Monteverdi's Lagrime and Brahms's Warum with The Canby Singers, and repeated the Monteverdi with the New York Madrigal Singers.  Once again, it is a pleasure to be responsible only for making my part of my section sound as beautiful as possible.

P.P.P.S.  (4/2012)  Being in two choruses turned out to be a little too much, so after Cerddorion's February-March concert (see P.P.S.), I left that one.  Now all of my musical energy is going into Canticum Novum Singers' performance--not to be missed--of Bach's B minor mass, Saturday, May 19.

P.P.P.P.S  (11/2012)  Bach's B minor was great;  December 14 Canticum Novum is doing his Xmas Oratorio.

P.P.P.P.P.S. (2/2013) The Oratorio was also terrific.  Saturday, May 18, Canticum Novum is performing Mozart's C minor Mass and Bach's motet Singet dem Herrn.

Music Divine, an a cappella group of 8 to 16 singers, emphasized sacred music centered around the year MD (1500--plus or minus 500 years, from plainchant to Pärt), with a healthy dose of the secular.  The director and many of the members have sung in some of the best professional choirs and early music groups in the metropolitan area and elsewhere.  The director has also conducted performances by Polyhymnia, the New York Madrigal Singers, the Canby Singers, and many other ensembles. 

Music Divine was named after a 6-voice madrigal by Thomas Tomkins, published in 1622 as part of a marvelous collection of his works: 
Songs of 3, 4, 5 and 6 parts, by Thamas Tomkins: organist of his Majesty's Chapel Royal.

Music divine, proceeding from above,
Whose sacred subject oftentimes is love,
In this appears her heavenly harmony,
Where tuneful concords sweetly do agree.
And yet in this her slander is unjust,
To call that love which is indeed but lust.


 

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    During its six-year run Music Divine presented concerts in churches on Manhattan's Upper West Side and Lower East Side, and in Greenwich Village, Teaneck, NJ, and Boston--as well as inside some of the most resonant tunnel underpasses in Central Park.  In addition,  four to six members of the group have demonstrated Renaissance choral music for a Columbia University Humanities class;  accompanied a Shakespeare lecture at the New York Public Library;  and, as part of a New York chapter meeting of the American Musicological Society, made a surprise performance of Parisian Renaissance chansons for Dr. Isabelle Cazeaux in honor of her 85th birthday.
    
    In 2007 we took part in the Boston Early Music Festival and the New York Early Music Celebration.  The New York performance was featured on the nationwide radio program Millenium of Music.  For our return to the 2009 Boston Early Music Festival, Music Divine presented a fringe concert of the featured work from our December 2009 program, Jacob Obrecht's Missa Salve diva parens, a monumental, late-15th-century mass that transcended the recently established "classical" norms of polyphonic composition. For the 2011 BEMF Music Divine presented "Renaissance: Christmas in June"--the Noel part of our Not Only Noel concert from the previous December.
    
    Music Divine participated in the annual 
Make Music New York Festival every June 21, starting in 2008, when we presented a sneak preview of our War & Peace concert inside a resonant Central Park underpass near the zoo.  In 2009 we found an even better underpass and performed all of the music of our two previous concerts.   Half of the group returned there for MMNY 2010, to perform Josquin's Missa de Beata Virgine and a few pieces from our Stile Moderno concert; and for MMNY 2011, to repeat most of our Renaissance "Pastoral" concert.