Programme Note

Joe Cutler's Ulf is a short, fast, rhythmically driven work which uses the orchestra like a huge unstoppable machine. Ulf was commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra in partnership with UBS and was written in the spring of 2006. According to Joe, "The piece is the third in a series of pieces based on first names (Tomek, Archie) and, if anything, the title refers to the Swedish table tennis player Ulf "Tickan" Carlsson, who developed the "third ball" technique which consists of serve with lots of spin, and smash the return (rallies tended to be very short, and it didn't really help to popularise table tennis on TV). In Ulf I wanted to put together extremes of contrasts." The piece was performed on 5th May 2006 by the LSO, conducted by Paul Watkins, at the Barbican Hall, London. It was also included in Ed Bennett's Horizons portrait concert in January 2007.

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