The Symphonic Juncture

A [Symphonist]: "The one who is not afraid to raise the primal force."

- Boris Asafiev (1917)

Data from the NW District: Theoretical Ruminations

The Northwestern District of Russia is comprised of nine Oblasts, two Republics, and one former-capital. The total volume of the District's land equates to 10 shares of the country of Russia, according to data collected in a nationwide poll by MegaFOM in 2012. The research and commentary are derived from exclusively this poll. It can be found here.


Northwestern District Components

  1. Kalinigrad Oblast

  2. Vologda Oblast

  3. Arkhangelsk Oblast

  4. Republic of Karelia

  5. Komi Republic

  6. Leningrad Oblast

  7. Murmansk Oblast

  8. Novgorod Oblast

  9. Pskov Oblast

  10. Saint Petersburg (former Capital)


What can be ascertained from the data collected is that when one goes farther North and farthest West, particularly Kalinigrad Oblast, the identification with Russian Orthodoxy goes down by 20%. In Leningrad Oblast, it was recorded that 50% of the people who took the poll identified with Russian Orthodoxy. Not surprising as Saint Petersburg is not only the old capital, being founded by Peter the First in 1703, although moved to Moscow by the Bolsheviks in 1918 but also has an incredible 213 churches in the entire region, including beauties like St. Catherine Cathedral, Spaso-Preobrazhnesky Cathedral, and historical Valaam Transfiguration Monastery, officially founded in the 14th century by Sergius of Valaam and companion. In pre-Soviet history, there was a recorded 498 churches, but unfortunately, many churches were destroyed due to the Soviet's secular ideology.


As aforementioned, the farther one goes North, the less the percentage becomes. Case in point, the Republic of Komi with a percentage of 30. An interesting point to mention about this particular region is that it houses one of the seven wonders of the World, the 'Manpupunyer' rock formations, a cluster of towering rock pillars which are naturally eroded ancient mountains. The Republic of Komi has its own lineage of religious beliefs, mostly centered around pre-East/West Orthodox. According to James Minahan, there is a substantial Old-Believer population within the Republic as well. Interwoven within the Orthodox framework is an adherence to their Pagan, 'shamanistic' mythological heritage, which feature a slim eight deities in their Pantheon: En, Kul, the head of the group / Zeus equivalent, Vasa, Olys, Aika, Peludi, Voil, Voisa. Among the 9 (10) regions of the Northwest District, only three would classify themselves as having a population who publicly call themselves 'Russian Orthodox,' while on the flip side, the remaining seven all have figures less than 50%.