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Piano Quintet

for piano and string quartet (2021) '20

commissioned by Chamber Music Northwest

first performance in Portland, OR, July 2021, Matan Porat, Dover Quartet

As a pianist and chamber musician, playing with string quartets was always my favorite type of music-making. The masterful repertoire, ranging from Schumann to Adès, is a big part of it, but also the fact that the pianist plays with a previously formed ensemble (as opposed to most piano chamber music formations), having the chance to address the players as a group, and for one concert be a part of their relationship, as an outside spectator. My Piano Quintet examines that exact relationship- the string Quartet is playing as a group and the piano is being the spectator, mostly playing against the quartet and rarely tries to be an integral part of it. The piano and strings play for a substantial part of the piece in different meters, while the piece is being fairly traditional in form and harmony. The first movement, Passacaglia, is the longest of the three. Set in a traditional sonata form (Two contrary subjects, development, recapitulation), the movement has throughout a bass line, which is first being introduced in the piano’s left hand. The second movement, Scherzo, begins with a charming Waltz, introduced by the strings. The middle section is more dramatic and violent, driven by the piano. Both sections repeat with small changes. The last movement, Aria, is the only movement with a more rhapsodic, free form. Two piano cadenzas are introducing the aria’s melody, played by all 5 instruments. A long meditative final section, “pearl garden”, comes back to the Passacaglia’s bass line material, relaxing until the end.


for solo flute and string quintet (2021) '13

commissioned by the Sylt Kammermusikfestival

dedicated to Roy Amotz

first performance at Sylt Kammermusikfestival, July 2021, Roy Amotz, David McCarroll, Annette Walther, Gareth Lubbe, Claude Frochaux and Jordi Carraso-Helm

Trio Fragment

for violin, cello and piano (2021) '2

commissioned by the Lockenhaus Festival

first performance: Lockenhaus Festival, July 2021, Ilya Gringolts, Nicolas Altstaedt, Julian Hedenborg

I cannot take this anymore

for flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, viola and cello (2021) '8

commissioned by the Zafraan Ensemble

first performance: Konzerthaus Berlin, June 2021, Liam Mallett, Miguel Pérez Iñesta, Martin Posegga, Emmanuelle Bernard, Josa Gerhard, Martin Smith

Four Ladino Songs 

for string quartet (2020) '16

commissioned by the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, for the Ariel Quartet

first performance in Cincinnati Conservatory of Music by the Ariel Quartet, October 2020

The Judeo-Spanish language, also known as Ladino, was originally spoken in Spain but after the Edict of Expulsion in 1492 spread across the Balkan, Turkey and Morocco among Jews. These Four Ladino Songs were chosen from a rich heritage of folksongs, almost all of which are dealing with the themes of love and pain. The quartet is in three contrasting movements. The first movement consists of two songs, “Los Bilbilicos” and “Yo Era Ninya”, and depicts the yearning of a faraway loved one. The second movement is a scherzo, full of humor and wit, on the text of “mi suegra, la negra”, a humorous text about an evil stepmother who makes the life of the bride miserable. The final movement is a theme with seven variations on “Durme, Durme”, which concludes with the quartet singing the theme and nursing a baby to sleep. The quartet was commissioned by the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, for the 20th Anniversary of the Ariel Quartet


for string quartet (2018) '10

commissioned by People’s Symphony Concerts for the Dover Quartet with the support of Adele and John Gray Endowment fund

First performance in New York, November 2018, Dover Quartet

“Cadenza” was written with the wish of capturing my favorite moments of magic in music and putting them in a capsule, so to speak, magnifying and examining the tension between the different chords and notes from a close distance. The entire piece is based on the last 8 bars of Bach’s miraculous Adagio, the opening movement of the Sonata in C Major BWV 1005 for solo violin. This harmonic progression near the end of a piece is called a cadence, hence the name of the composition. At the end, Bach’s movement is being quoted, and the solo violin’s part is arranged for the entire quartet.


for string quartet (2017) '15

commissioned by the Wigmore Hall, for the Casals Quartet

first performance at the Wigmore Hall, London, Cuarteto Casals

“Otzma” is my second string quartet, written for the Cuarteto Casals for their 2017-8 Beethoven cycle. The name “Otzma” (hebrew: strength, power) refers to Beethoven’s famous marking in the third movement of op. 132, “neue Kraft fühlend” (feeling renewed strength). As the title suggests, the piece is written in a flow of energy and drives its inspiration from the celebrated third movement (Heilige Dankgesang in lydischen Tonart) as well as the second movement (allegro ma non tanto) of Beethoven’s majestic quartet. Similarly to the beginning of the second movement, where the quartets play together the same notes, the piece tries to create at certain points one instrument from the four players. Referring Beethoven by using several modal scales throughout the piece, the “f” tone is being avoided for the entire composition.


for clarinet and string quartet (2016) '14

commissioned by the Mizmorim Festival, Basel, dedicated to Chen Halevy

first performance at the Kol Hamuzika festival, Kfar Blum, July 2014, Chen Halevy, Boris Brovtsyn, Eddy Kotler, Shira Majoni, Haran Meltzer

”Mizmorim“ is a Rhapsody in 6 parts for a solo clarinetist and a string quartet. During the entire piece the clarinet is faced in front of the quartet as a singular entity against a group, sometimes as a prayer, sometimes driving the musical narrative forward and a times reacting to the strings. The piece has two thematic sections- parts in perpetual motion (such as the beginning and the Hasidic dance in the middle of the piece) and meditative parts, in which the clarinet is mimicking a prayer. The 6 parts, which are continuosely played: Introduction, beginning with a solo clarinet, a slow Interlude in which the other thematic themes are revealed, a prayer, Hasidic dance, a Cadence of the clarinetist with the first violin and a slow coda which concludes the piece. ”Mizmorim“ was commissioned by the ”Mizmorim“ festival in Basel and is dedicated to Chen Halevy.

Durch Nacht und Wind

for cello and piano (2014) '20

commissioned by Alois Lageder for Vinoton festival, dedicated to Nicolas Altstaedt

first performance at the Vinoton festival, July 2014, Nicolas Altstaedt, Matan Porat

“Durch Nacht und Wind”, commissioned by Alois Lageder for Vinoton 2014 and dedicated to cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is a rhapsodic fantasy for cello and piano, built from 8 contrasting alternating sections, “Jagd” (no. 1,3,5,7) and “Nacht” (no. 2,4,6,8). Originally inspired by the painting “Die Jäger im Schnee” by Pieter Breugel dem Ältern, where a group of peasants return from an unsuccessful hunt to a winter’s landscape, the piece’s title is a quote from Goethe’s famous poem, “Erlkönig”, which, like the piece, has 8 stanzas and describes the hunt and possession of the Elf king on the young boy, riding through the night with his father. While the piece is generally inspired by the poem (and in parts, also by Schubert’s composition), the music is by no means programmatic. The main sections of the piece are no. 4, where the cello plays a long, meditative solo cadenza, and the last “Jagd” section (no. 7), in which the hunt reaches a climatic peak, only before disappearing to the emptiness of the night.


for 2 violins, viola, cello and bass (2013) '12

commissioned by the Deutsche Symphony Orchester Akademie


for violin and piano (2013) '8

commissioned by the Gabriel Forberg Schneider Stiftung

first performance: Gewandhaus Leipzig, January 2014, Sebastian Breuninger, Matan Porat

Start Time

for violin, clarinet and timpani (2012) '5

commissioned by Cleveland ChamberFest

dedicated to Franklin Cohen, Diana Cohen and Alexander Cohen

first performance: Cleveland ChamberFest, June 2013, Franklin Cohen, Diana Cohen, Alexander Cohen


for cembalo and piano (2012) '20

commissioned by the Adele and John Gray endowment fund

dedicated to Tamar Halperin

Comment Dire

for clarinet and piano (2012) '6

commissioned by and dedicated to Chen Halevy

first performance: Cyprus chamber music festival, June 2012, Chen Halevy, Matan Porat

The piece “comment dire” for clarinet and piano was inspired by a poem by Samuel Beckett with the same name- the last thing he wrote before his death in 1989. In the poem, as in much of Beckett’s works, there is a constant deconstruction of the phrase and isolating parts and bits of it in an intrusive, rhythmical way. Many words return and presented almost like musical motives. My piece is similarly trying to create continuity and phrases from ambiguous and frantic motives. The clarinet and the piano fighting themselves, exchanging ideas and as Vladimir and Estragon, the famous “Godot” characters, trying to reach something that they will never get. The piece is written and dedicated to my friend Chen Halevi for his 40st birthday.


for flute, cello and piano (2011) '12

commissioned by the Boris Pergamenchikov Prize

first performance: Hanns Eisler, March 2011, Berlin, Trio Vis


for clarinet, bandoneon, piano and bass

first performance: Schiermonnikoog festival, October 2011, Tango Factory (Marcelo Nisinman, bandoneon, Chen Halevi, clarinet, Matan Porat, piano, Winfried Holzenkamp, bass)

Horn Trio

for horn, violin and piano (2010) '9

commissioned by the Freunde Jugend Musiker

first performance: Atrium, Berlin, November 2010, Tunca Dogu, Michiko Feuerlein, Matan Porat

Where now?

for flute, clarinet, bassoon and piano (2010) '7

commissioned by the Adele and John Gray endowment fund

dedicated to the Meitar Ensemble

first performance: Tel-Aviv, March 2010, Meitar Ensemble


for flute, viola and harp (2010) '7

commissioned by the Adele and John Gray endowment fund

first performance: Tel-Aviv, March 2010, Roy Amotz, Jenny Anschel, Sivan Magen

Hands off

for viola and percussion (2009) '17

commissioned by Kim Kashkashian

first performance: Auditori, Barcelona, April 2010, Kim Kashkashian, Robin Schulkowsky

“Hands off” for viola and percussion is a 6 movement work- 2 instrumental-only intermezzi and 4 movements with text, all related to hands (a haiku by Basho; a short story by Kafka, a poem by Neruda and a text on “how to shake hands”). As all texts are extremely different from each other (and each is in a different language- Japanese, German, English and German, being read by pre-recorded native speakers and sometimes also by the performers)- each movement is uniquely distinctive and offer the listener a very different approach to the possible writing for the two instruments and to the “hands” theme itself.

Night Horses

for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (2007) '12

commissioned by the Adele and John Gray endowment fund for the Israel Chamber Project

first performance: Jerusalem Music Centre, June 2007, Tibi Cziger, Itamar Zorman, Michal Korman, Assaff Weisman


for flute, clarinet, harp, 2 percussionists, 2 violins, viola and cello (2006) '14

commissioned by the Adele and John Gray endowment fund 

first performance: Tel-Aviv Museum, March 2006, Gropius Ensemble, Daniel Cohen, conductor


for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (2003) '11

commissioned by Elena Bashkirova and the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival

first performance: Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, September 2003, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Latica Honda Rosenberg, Kirill Zlotnikov, Matan Porat

La muerte de la muerte de los caracoles

for string quartet (2003) '15

first performance: Tel-Aviv, March 2002


for violin and piano (2001) '7

commissioned by and dedicated to Vera Vaidman and Emanuel Krasovsky

first performance: Jerusalem, June 2001, Vera Vaidman and Emanuel Krasovsky


for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano (2001) '13 

first performance: Tel-Aviv University, April 2001


for piano four-hands (2000) / two pianos (2001) '6

first performance: Tel-Hai International Masterclasses, August 2000, Juliana Steinbach, Matan Porat

Five phases of the moon

for flute, clarinet, percussion, violin, cello and piano (2000) '18

first performance: Tel-Aviv University, April 2000

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