Musica Divina

Musica Divina is an event that creates a real chance to experience the sacred in music. This is not just another Cracow festival of classical music. Although in the repertoire you can find many masterpieces of early music, it is not an opportunity to quasi archeological study of musical “excavations”, either. Open to all enthusiasts, taking place in a space sanctified by prayer and a rich tradition, the festival is the most appropriate ground for music that has been created for the greater glory of God.

As Catholics we are convinced that the space of churches, open and serving as a place to encounter God every day, should not be used commercially and sacred music performed in church interiors should be made available to everyone willing to listen. Therefore the events held as part of Musica Divina are and will always be completely free.

Our experience shows that this festival formula best appeals to our audiences and partners.

Musica Divina is in many ways a collective undertaking, bringing the world of culture, commerce, public institutions and passionate individuals together around an idea. The future of the festival largely depends on the joint efforts of all those who care about sacred music and its dissemination and share the desire to beautify the musical side of observance in Polish churches.

In 2018, the festival programme consisted of six concerts showcasing sacred music traditions from different parts of Europe.

The festival opened with a prologue concert by the Estonian ensemble Linnamuusikud at the Dominican Friars’ Church in Rzeszów. The ensemble, which enjoys a large following in Poland, was reactivated in 2017, giving a performance at the Pieśń naszych korzeni (Song of Our Roots) festival in Jarosław and at Festiwal Muzyki Niezwykłej (Festival of Extraordinary Music) in Kraków. This time they sang during mass which was followed by a concert of Estonian runic songs and folk chant as well as fragments from Guillaume de Machaut and Adrian Willaert.

The Kraków part of the festival starred the British octet Voces8, who sang choral music from the Middle Ages through to today. Trio Mediaeval presented a repertoire arranged in the form of an old votive Marian mass. The British quartet Alternative History performed polyphony by Renaissance masters arranged for voice and two lutes. Meanwhile the concert Bogurodzica (Mother of God) performed by Jerycho, an ensemble specialising in an innovative reading of old music sources from Poland and beyond, marked a strong Polish accent.

The festival concluded with mass on the eve of the Assumption of Mary and a concert prepared by Frédéric Tavernier-Vellas and Jean-Étienne Langianni with the participants of the singing workshops organised within the framework of the festival.

The festival was accompanied by daily masses at the Saint Francis of Assisi Basilica, officiated by Marcin Drąg OFMConv and Lucjan Bartkowiak CR, whose sermons provided food for thought for the workshop participants. The festival began with a ceremonial holy mass sung by the Schola Cantorum Minorum Chosoviensis from Chorzów.

Musica Divina is a continuation of the concept of the Extraordinary Music Festival, whose very successful inauguration in 2017 we prepared together with the Dominican Liturgical Centre Foundation. We believe that the festival continued under the name of Musica Divina will be endowed with as much trust and kindness of the audience from all over Poland.

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