Program Note

Shoresh Nishmat (soul-searching) is a lyric piece for clarinet, cello and piano. I initially wrote it as a study to redefine the place of naiveté, or simplicity, in my work.

The piece has a three part programmatic design. First movement is reminiscent of sailing; the musical building blocks are mainly Jewish-Hassidic melodies.

Second movement develops the materials in a more rhythmical landscape reaching the shores of romantic, or maybe an overly romantic expression. The piece ends with a slow, meditative Chorale and Coda, suggesting a lyrical conclusion as a personal means of finding one’s own “shoresh,” one’s truest, inner self.

Matti Kovler

Booking inquiries:


American Premiere (Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall)
Tibi Cziger – clarinet,
Michal Korman – cello,
Nimrod David Pfeffer – piano


“ClarinetFest Day 1”
August 3d, 2011, by Adam J. Berkowitz

“…The next piece was Matti Kovler’s Shoresh Nishmat… which he loosely translates as Root Searching. It was performed by Margaret Thornhill, John Walz, and Twyla Meyer. For all the severity of the Andriessen, Kovler’s work proved to be an excellent contrast. The outer two movements were diaphanous with beautiful harmonies and wonderful combinations of timbre. The central section was a dance that moved along with grace and lightness.”