Saint Joseph's Yorkville Müller & Able Organ
It must be odd to play a musical instrument that is well over 100 times larger than you. Here Alistair Reid, Director of Music at Saint Joseph’s, plays the grand Müller & Able organ. He is a concert organist, pianist, conductor, and teacher, and has played concerts on many of the great organs of the world including Notre Dame de Paris, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, the National Cathedral in Washington, Harvard University Memorial Church, and Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue. His website has more information about his work including music clips from his concerts.
Müller & Able built the organ in 1895 and was installed upon completion of the present building. “The conception of the windchest mechanism of St. Joseph’s organ was entirely original with Müller & Abel, and was designed to allow more wind to gently enter the pipes. This unique feature, together with the unenclosed Great division—which was atypical of the period—produces a full, resonant sound, similar to a large cathedral organ.
The organ at St. Joseph’s survives essentially intact, although the original console was replaced in the 1960s. While the console was updated with solid-state equipment, all of the original pipework and electro-pneumatic chests remain as they were over a hundred years ago. The instrument, which has been exceptionally well-maintained throughout its history, was rebuilt in 1994 by John Randolph and in 2004 by Meloni & Farrier,” according to NYCAGO.
“Oscar Müller and George Abel, both German immigrants, were employed in the Roosevelt Organ Works of New York, Philadelphia and Boston, the preeminent organ builders from 1870 through 1893. When the Roosevelt firm ceased operations, Müller and Abel established their own factory in New York City, building sixty-two organs between 1893 and 1902.”