for symphony orchestra

durata ca 9 min


Once upon a time there was a very young esteemed artistic director who was turning thirty. His orchestra commissioned a surprise for him, a new composition. Since, like all truly great musicians, his artistic expression was sometimes gentle and sometimes really vicious, the piece was entitled Tiger Touch.


The piece turned out to be a kind of dialogue between different instrucments and forms of expression. First grand brass meets the strings, playing in unison a slowly spun melody. Then a lively, cheerful theme in the woodwinds encounters wild folk dance rhythms in the strings. Three bass drums at the very back of the stage mark an occasional pulse, like huge heartbeats.


The various melodies and rhythms establish communication among the instruments and the forms of communication. They interrupt, they transform, they argue.

Some things vanish, others turn up again, develop and change guise. In the end all that is left is the harmony, the rhythm and – an enormous tiger roar!


“To Gustavo Dudamel for his thirtieth birthday”


The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – who commissioned the piece – premiered Tiger Touch under the baton of Dudamel in the Gothenburg concert hall on Wednesday, September 14, 2011. They then took it on tour, under Dudamel each time, to Oslo and Reykiavik.


Karin Rehnqvist