Divine concert CDs are now available
The following concert recordings are ready to ship:
Desprez: Missa Une Mousse de Biscaye First 11/2005; Last 11/2011
Only Noël 12/2010
O Primavera 4/2009
Jakob Obrecht: Missa Salve diva parens 12/2008
War & Peace 6/2008
motets; Salve Regina by Obrecht, Martini, Morales, & Victoria 3/2008
Dawn of Classical Music: Isaac & Josquin (NY Early Music Celebration)
Missa Een vrolic wesen, Quis dabit, Virgo prudentissima 10/2006
Read details about all of these concerts at
Listen to selected pieces at
On Sunday, November 20, 2011
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.
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
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
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,
P.P.P.P.S (11/2012) Bach's B minor was great;
December 14 Canticum Novum is doing his Xmas Oratorio.
(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.
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,
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.
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
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.