FOUNDED IN NEW YORK CITY as Glück Orgelbau in 1985, our workshop created its first pipe organ in a basement woodworking cooperative near Columbia University. That four-rank residence instrument remains the inspiration for our series of compact studio organs offered today, installations that are afforded the same attention and artistry as our 135-rank project for New York’s Temple Emanu-El facing Central Park.
We continue to serve as organ curators of some of the tri-state area’s most prominent institutions, some of which have more than one Glück instrument.
OUR STAFF is composed of professional musicians whose supplemental backgrounds in architecture, engineering, historic preservation, solid state control systems, instrument making, exhibition design, music history, and concert performance contribute to the high level of knowledge, standards, and expectations shared by our clients and our family of artisans.
Our Musical Outlook
FIRMLY GROUNDED IN TRADITIONAL ORGANBUILDING, we do not distinguish between “service” instruments and “concert” organs. With rare exception, the solo literature was written by liturgical musicians for the organs they played. Despite the variations in tonal concepts between eras and cultures, there are some consistent threads that run through them all. While each organ is an individually conceived and crafted musical instrument, organists and composers have always expected to find certain tone colors at specific pitches in their proper locations within the design. If we respect this historical legacy, a church or synagogue organ will serve the concert and choral repertoire as well as the liturgy.
OUR TONAL DIRECTOR studies the best pipe organs of the past because their builders did not settle for musical compromise. We apply the lessons of the past without hampering our innovative spirit, keeping in mind the musical needs and traditions of each new client, whose input shapes the design through its gestation. We recognize that unlike paintings and sculpture, pipe organs are works of art that are used regularly to convey other works of art.
Click here for information on our tonal director.
OUR PIPEWORK is scaled, built, voiced, and tonally finished for notable impact and effect. Even the gentlest of stops are infused with character, taking cues from chamber and vocal music in the pursuit of our tonal æsthetic. Nobility and grandeur of organ tone are only achieved when the individual elements of the whole produce warm and singing tone. The most commanding of reed stops will produce mere noise without the artistic judgement of the Tonal Director, who tonally finishes every pipe in its final home.
As with all components of Glück organs, our organ pipes are built with substantial, high quality, traditional materials and methods. We take our inspiration from the great organs and treatises of the past, points of departure from which we begin our journey on the design of each new musical instrument for its individual acoustical environment.
The Glück Console
THE CONSOLE, or keydesk, is sometimes perceived as the “cockpit” of the instrument, the connection between the organist’s hands and feet and the instrument’s actions and pipes. It must be comfortable and inviting, presenting no physical or psychological obstacles to the making of music. We elegantly provide the most reliable of modern control systems without overloading the instrument with unnecessary gadgetry.
WITH A DEGREED PRESERVATION ARCHITECT ON STAFF, we build consoles that respect the architecture of the building in both style and materials. Whether simple, traditional oak panels, or Art Deco polished onyx, durable materials of natural beauty are incorporated into the designs. Unless specifically requested by the client, all of our keyboards, dimensions, and layouts conform to the standards established by the American Guild of Organists, so that any musician will immediately feel comfortably “at home.”
Restorations and Rescued Organs
HISTORIC PRESERVATION WORK branches off into several disciplines. The approach that does as little as possible and only what is necessary is conservation, which constitutes minimally invasive procedures that safeguard the historic fabric and context of the instrument and stabilize its condition. Renovation and repair involve bringing the organ into working order, with minor changes and improvements, even if they are departures from true conservation. Restoration returns the organ as closely as possible to its original state, or to some prior state of its history. Restoration may involve some conjectural reconstruction, which on a large scale, may involve the recreation of a console, pipework, or entire divisions based upon a careful study of other existing examples by the same builder at the same stage of their work.
From time to time, we purchase historic pipe organs that are in danger of being razed along with the structures in which they reside. Such instruments are documented and disassembled for secure storage. Please enquire about the availability of such heritage instruments, and whether one might be right for your situation. The thoughtful and professional staff at Glück New York is also available for the dismantling, moving, and re-erection of instruments.
We maintain a stock of vintage pipework of high quality that may be incorporated into new organs as well as rebuilding projects. Please call or write for details.
Architectural design, acoustical consultation, documentation, and other design and craftsman’s services are available. Please enquire.