Two very different all-night vigils

Religion suffered terrible oppression in the Soviet Union, and one of the post-Perestroika miracles has been the resurgence of faith in the region, despite the continuing political turmoil. One example of the religous resurgence is the Convent of St. Elisabeth in Minsk, Belarus which is seen in my photographs here.

The Convent was founded in 1999 and is now home to seventy-five nuns and novices. The buildings are new, and funding for the project is a continuing struggle in the tough economic climate that prevails in Belarus. The Sisters of St. Elisabeth raise foreign currency by selling crafts made in their workshops and recordings made by their excellent choir. Two of the lay Sisters from the Convent stayed with us here in Norfolk last week while fund raising, and their CD shown below is a real discovery.

Rachmaninov's concert setting of the Orthodox All-night Vigil is well known. But the choir of St. Elisabeth's Convent in Minsk give us a different take which combines Greek, Slavonic and Bulgarian Chants. It is something of a revelation to hear women's voices singing the Orthodox liturgy, and the Convent choir acquit themselves wonderfully. Their recording of the All-night Vigil is only available direct from the Convent, email monaster-nov at for more details.

There is an all-night vigil of a very different sort at 12.01am this Wednesday, December 5th when I will be playing Alvin Curran's Inner Cities complete. The four and a half hour performance will be not be interrupted by any announcements, commercials or news bulletins. More details of this broadcast premiere here.

Good to see An Overgrown Path featuring on the Virtual Guide to Belarus, and more on Russian Orthodox music here.
Listen by to Inner Cities at 12.01am UK time on Wednesday December 5 by launching the Radeo internet player from the right side-bar, or via the audio stream. Convert broadcast times to your local time zone using this link. Windows Media Player doesn't like the audio stream very much and takes ages to buffer. WinAmp or iTunes handle it best. Unfortunately the royalty license doesn't permit on-demand replay, so you have to listen in real time. If you are in the Norwich, UK area tune to 96.9FM. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


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