"Kljuch Razumeniya” Ensemble
“Kljuch Razumeniya” is a professional vocal group which performs chants of Old Russian tradition, mainly from the manuscripts dating from 16th–18th centuries.
“Kljuch Razumeniya” is a professional vocal group which performs chants of Old Russian tradition, mainly from the manuscripts dating from 16th–18th centuries. The ensemble was created in 2004 by professor Natalija Mosyagina within the Department of Old Russian Art of Singing of The Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory. The ensemble has become a sort of creative laboratory for research, analysis and performing the Russian singing legacy, which was completely erased from the liturgical practice of the Russian Orthodox Church after the 17th century.
The name and the symbol of the group (”Kljuch Razumeniya — “The Key of comprehension”) was borrowed from the music theory guide from the 2nd half of the 17th century created by the monk Tikhon Makarjevsky: “The key of comprehension opens the doors of the sacred singing.” The singers of the ensemble try to find the key to the meaningful, sensible singinig following the call of the Psalmist:
O chant unto our God, chant ye; chant unto our King, chant ye.
For God is king of all the earth, O chant ye with understanding.
(Psalm 46, 6-7)
The members of the ensemble reconstruct the sound of the chants notated through the old scores: znamenny, kazansky, kievsky. The repertoire of the ensemble consists of the “znamenny”, “bolshoj”, “putevoj”, “demestvenny”, as well as creations of various authors and monastery chants, early forms of the Russian polyphony (strochnoj and demestvenny), and the partial harmonization of monody. Apart from the liturgical genres, the group performs penitential and spiritual songs.
Natalija Mosyaginahas a PhD in art history, she is a musicologist and medievalist, performer, tutor, professor at the Department of Old Russian Art of Singing of The Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory. She teaches “Applied source studies and textual studies of the Old Russian notated manuscripts from the 11th–17th centuries”, “Vocal ensemble”, “Archival and bibliographic practicum”, “Teaching practicum”, “Traditions of the modern liturgical singing”, “Chorus and Cantorial art”, “Basics of the musical paleography”.
She is author of the monography “Monk Tikhon Makarjevsky. The key of comprehension” (2014), of study guides in znamenny notation and of numerous research papers.
Natalija Mosyagina is an established participant at numerous international scientific conferences and seminars. She was an organizer of the international scientific conference “Liturgical space: architecture, imagery, word and chant”, which was held in 2014, at the monastery Rezhevichi, Montenegro.
From 1996 to 2014, Natalija was a choir-master at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory. In 2004, she created the ensemble of the Old Russian singing “Kljuch Razumeniya” and the znamenny chant school at the Fedorovskaya Church in Saint-Petersburg. Natalija Mosyagina arranged more than a hundred concerts for the ensemble “Kljuch Razumeniya” in Russia, as well as outside of the country. In 2001, a CD of the ensemble “Kljuch Razumeniya” has been released featuring various unpublished Old Russian chants of different singing styles from the 16th– 18th centuries.
Natalija is also a member of the Society for the monody studies (Vienna, Austria). She performs as a singer and makes presentations at various international scientific conferences, delivers lectures, gives masterclasses in Russia and other countries.