My Precious Manuscript La Sainte Folie FantastiqueLa Sainte Folie Fantastique
My Precious Manuscript
Fantastic Sonatas from England to Germany

Jérôme van Waerbeke, violin
Lucile Boulanger, viol
Arnaud De Pasquale, harpsichord and organ
Thomas Dunford, archlute

Alpha, 2013

This album attracted my attention immediately, for his unconventional title: My Precious Manuscript, which is the first recording of an ensemble of four instruments (violin, viol, harpsichord and archlute) established in 2005, La Sainte Folie Fantastique.

The title refers to a manuscript collection now in Durham Cathedral Library, which «offers a fascinating glimpse into the numerous musical exchanges and influences between Britain and the north of the continent» in the XVII century (quote from the booklet). It contains many unpublished compositions by some anonymous and renowned composers, such as Henry Butler, English composer and viol player, employed at the Court of Philippe IV from 1623 to 1652, year of his death; William Young, contemporary of the previous and a violist himself, served at the Court of Innsbruck; Heinrich Scheidemann, organist and composer of northern Germany.

My Precious Manuscript is a refined and interesting album, where it is possible to listen to compositions never heard before and which show a variety of instruments and colours. It reminds easily of ancient and arcane atmosphere, which La Sainte Folie Fantastique realizes in a fine and charming way. It is beautiful to listen how they work well together, interacting with one another. This is really a valuable achievement to everyone who is interested in this period or who wants to listen to something new.