Click HERE to see the specifications for Opus 1
OPUS 1 - Trinity Church
Wall Street, NYC - Non-Extant
(Watch Videos of Opus 1 Below)
Marshall & Ogletree Opus 1 was commissioned in November of 2002 by Trinity Church Wall Street, NYC. The instrument and its specifications were designed in close collaboration with Dr. J. Owen Burdick, Trinity's Director of Music. Dr. Burdick expressed his desire to see an extraordinary musical instrument built in a new medium, and he worked tirelessly to secure the support among Trinity's leadership to embark on a journey which surprised nearly everyone in the organ world.
The installation of Opus 1 was completed in time for a landmark choral and organ concert, broadcast worldwide on September 11, 2003 - the 2-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks which devastated lower Manhattan and rendered the church's pipe organs inoperational. William Albright's formidable masterpiece "A Song to David" was chosen by Dr. Burdick to showcase both the new instrument and Trinity's superb professional choir. Everyone in attendance was profoundly moved by the scope and the excellence of the program, and the reviews which rolled in over the next days reflected this.
Consisting of two complete and independent 77-stop organs with identically equipped consoles (Chancel and Gallery),the organ spoke into Trinity's nave through 82 audio channels and more than 15,000 watts of amplifier power. Each console gave the organist full control over both gallery and chancel organs, allowing for elaborate duet possibilities. The stunning, ornately-carved chancel console was constructed to match the exquisite detail of the church's chancel furniture by Fratelli Ruffatti Organ Builders of Padua, Italy. This console helped define the style and quality level found in all M&O consoles going forward.
In Trinity's famous Upjohn building, our tonal concepts and ideas, which had never been heard outside of our own labs, were first tested, implemented and proven. Dr. Burdick and Trinity Church's visionary and entrepreneurial spirit was absolutely essential to the dramatic early success and acclaim of Marshall & Ogletree organs. We will always be grateful to Dr. Burdick and to Trinity Church for the considerable faith which they placed in our company right from the beginning of our commercial efforts.
Starting with its dedication in September 2003, M&O Opus 1 earned accolades from its toughest critics, was played by many of the world's leading organ talents, and was named "The Virtual Pipe Organ" by The New York Times. For several years, it enjoyed the distinction of being perhaps the only digital organ in the world recognized as a true "pilgrimage organ" - guests from across the globe traveled to New York specifically to hear it, and thousands worldwide regularly listened to it during worship and concerts on the web.
In the summer of 2006, one half of Opus 1 was uninstalled and went on an unprecedented tour, with stops in Cincinnati to provide music for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, two concerts with the Trinity Choir under Dr. Burdick's direction at the American Guild of Organists National Convention in Chicago, and an organ concert by Cameron Carpenter held at Pace University before returning to Trinity. At the same time, organ music at Trinity's services - and even its summer organ recital series - continued uninterrupted, using Trinity's gallery console, which has now been relocated in NYC as our Opus 15.
As one result of Dr. Burdick's desire to showcase the instrument widely to the community, Opus 1 was used in the recording of several CD albums by Cameron Carpenter including "Revolutionary", the first solo organ album ever nominated for a Grammy award. This Telarc CD album can be found here. We hope you will take the opportunity to enjoy the extensive variety of video and audio from performances by today's leading organists that we have linked below.
For the next 15 years, Opus 1 was generally acknowledged to be the world's most famous and influential digital organ. An instrument of huge proportions and vast capabilities, it shook the organ world to its very core by demonstrating the first meaningful breakthrough in digital organ sound in decades and a new paradigm in organ building. The instrument was conceived of as temporary until a proper new pipe organ could be selected, though the vestry of Trinity Church was pleased enough with Opus 1 to affirm their long term commitment to the instrument in 2007. It served the church every day, used for services, rehearsals and concerts in support of their world-class music program until May 7, 2018 when it was disconnected and removed prior to the renovation of Trinity's historic sanctuary.
In February of 2018, it was announced that Trinity Church would commission two magnificent new pipe organs for the sanctuary built by Glatter-Götz of Germany and designed and voiced by Manuel Rosales of California at a cost of over $10M. The new instruments are scheduled to be completed in 2024, following a multi-year renovation of the sanctuary. The Marshall & Ogletree Opus 1 organs were removed and brought back to our shop to be carefully gone through and prepared for the next chapters of their lives in other settings. One of those transitions is now complete, as we welcome Opus 15 to our roster. A fellow New York City establishment, Church of the Blessed Sacrament, has purchased and installed Opus 1's Gallery console and 56 channels of audio in their massive and gorgeous nave. The opulent Chancel console has happily now been selected, with an announcement of its destination and installation forthcoming imminently!
Featured Video of Opus 1
Cameron Carpenter - Carmen Theme and Variations
Bizet / Horowitz
Links to other videos of Marshall & Ogletree Opus 1