Don’t be put off by the title: this is wonderful music, and all the words indicate is that the pieces can be used in church or court… what you get in these 12 sonatas is the music of gesture: sweeping roulades, folksy melodies, plangent fanfares. Fiercely incisive playing from Ars Antiqua, the six strings led by Gunar Letzbor, and unforced accuracy from the trumpets.
A tuba playing jazz musician might have the right to describe his sound as unique – after all, tuba soloists in jazz are as rare as hen’s teeth. But when we describe Norwegian tuba player and composer Daniel Herskedal as unique, we’re not referring to his choice of horn. In the last few years this young musician has proved he has the facility, vision and musicianship to push the boundaries of his instrument, technically and sonically, further than anyone has done so. The result , as demonstrated by his new album ‘Slow Eastbound Train’, is a spellbind- ing and mesmerising sound worthy of a vast international audience.