Michel Samson & Rebecca Samson – The Claviorganum & the Violin LP
This is the first published recording of Michel Samson since his unparalleled work with Albert Ayler’s quintet in the late 1960s. Samson’s violin playing has changed me. His great exuberance and ecstasy, all sliding through an interlocking sadness. Since I first began Recital, I have dreamt of contacting Michel to publish an album that gives reverence to his violin playing. Seven years later, it has come to be.
The collection on this LP holds numerous 17th-Century works of the Italian baroque, performed by Michel Samson and his wife, Rebecca. It showcases some of the earliest music composed for the violin as a featured soloist. Rebecca accompanies on a replica – believed to be the only extant replica in the United States – of the claviorganum, a rare and curious instrument that traces back to the 15th century. Comprised of both an organ and a harpsichord integrated into a single case, the claviorganum harkens to a time of experimentation and artistry of design. Michel’s violin was made by Francesco Gobetti in 1718; its sound carries beautifully throughout the room. Samson worked as a dealer of rare and antique violins for many years, and has an ear for majestic craftsmanship. The style adopted by Italian composers during the baroque was one of heightened lyricism, emotion, and ornamentation, especially when voiced through the violin; it is no accident that Michel’s unique approach to articulation and intonation speaks both to the present and the past.
In these recordings you can hear the same joy dripping across the strings, as in his days with Ayler. It shows what beauty can be instilled inside someone. Rebecca’s playing is exquisite, too, complimenting each movement as they fold on. Please enjoy this special album.
Sean McCann [with contributions by Sarah Davachi], April 2019
- Limited Edition LP of 250pc
8-page insert with program notes and paintings by Michel Samson