M A R T I N   G E O R G I E V

c o m p o s e r   &   c o n d u c t o r

c o m p o s i t i o n s   b y   c a t e g o r y




For Symphony Orchestra


Auftragskomposition für das Theater und Philharmonische Orchester Heidelberg


Komponist für Heidelberg 2012/13


Commissioned by Orchester und Theater Heidelberg and GMD Yordan Kamdzhalov

within composer's tenure as

Composer in Residence to the City of Heidelberg 2012-13


Completed: 19.09.2012

Duration: c.a. 14:30 min


World Premiere: 20.02.2013

Martin Georgiev - Conductor

Heidelberg Philharomonic Orchestra

Location: Stadthalle, Heidelberg, Germany



 Listen to Audio Clip 1 (excerpt)                     


 Listen to Audio Clip 2 (excerpt)



3 Fl. (2=Picc.)

2 Ob.


2 Cl. in Bb

Bass Cl




3 Tr. in Bb

4 Cr. in F

2 Trb.

B. Trb.




2 Percussion

(Glock, Vibr., Mar., Tub. B., Cymb., Tam-t, Bass Dr.)


Strings: Vn. I (14), Vn. II (12), Vle. (10), Vc. (8), Cb. (6)

Programme Note

The Secret is a sonic contemplation on a subject matter that the composer has not revealed so far. It is meant to be part of a trilogy - a Triptych which should contain  two more orchestral works - The Secret II and The Secret III, all of which would be standalone orchestral works, as The Secret is, but can also be performed together as a symphony. If and when that triptych is complete, the composer might reveal an aspect to the secret in question through sub-titles to the three orchestral works, but in essence that subject matter is beyond human comprehension. Therefore the composer prefers to approach it through the more direct, non-verbal, 'mystical' substance of pure music, rather than through verbal elaborations which he deems more limited in this respect.

The composition is developed through Georgiev's signature technique for composition: Morphing Modality, which was developed within his doctoral research at the Royal Academy of Music, University of London. It is a particular approach to modality and texture which is inspired by the image morphing technique in the visual arts and is informed by music psychology, perception and cognition. In its foundations are some particular aspects of the theory and practice of Bulgarian and Byzantine Orthodox Chant, as well as traditions and techniques in composition from the past century and from the romantic, classical, baroque and renaissance periods. In this technique, the monophonic horizontal harmony from the theory and practice of Eastern-Orthodox Chant interacts with particular kinds of 'morphing textures', inspired by micropolyphony, heterophony, linear polyphony and aleatorics.  This creates a fluid, 'morphing modal harmony', which at times extends the modal to the atonal and tonal domains. The method provides particular opportunities for liberation of the lines and the other distinct elements of texture from any vertical intervallic, chordal and contrapuntal considerations, while keeping precise and detailed control over the sense of harmony. The technique thus developed is a synthesis of Eastern and Western; Ancient and Modern music traditions, where a holistic and integral amalgamation of the various heterogeneous stylistic, technical and theoretical elements creates new possibilities for exploration.