G. L. Penzel & Bro, New York
Albert system clarinet
Low pitch, Bb-flat
GL Penzel & Bro refers to Gustav Ludwig (1855–1920) and his brother Gustav Friedrich Penzel. Together they started a musical business in Germany, 1881. Shortly after in 1882 Gustav Ludwig appears in New York, and his brother Friedrich follows in 1884.
In 1885, the trade name G. L. Penzel & Bro appears on their musical instruments.
In 1899 Edward Georg Müller joined the German brothers, and the company G. L. Penzel & Müller – later known as the famous Penzel-Mueller brand.
The clarinet is made of grenadilla wood. The wood is well worn, but there are no cracks at all, and the tenons are intact. The original barrel is unfortunately missing. I was lucky to find a replacement with a similar bore, but this one had a hairline crack. It has been secured with the best grenadil superglue.
This GL Penzel clarinet is in Bb-flat, pitches perfectly in A=440. It has got the usual issues of the time, meaning some notes are a little bit flat, others a bit sharp. This can easily be adjusted by the lips, though!
I have tested with a modern mouthpiece from Vytas Krass.
There is no serial number to determine the year of manufactory, which is extremely annoying. I think it’s from the 1920s, but I don’t know for sure.
The instrument is 59,8 cm long from top of barrel to bottom of bell and the total weight is 618 grams. The bore is relatively big, 15 mm, which provides the clarinet with a huge beautiful Albert sound.
All new Pisoni leather pads and new corks throughout the clarinet, including tenons. Wood has been conditioned with almond oil.
All the keys have been cleaned and bent back in positions. Springs, rods and screws cleaned from rust and subsequently lubricated and adjusted.
I want to point out that the tone holes are not in the best condition. I have fixed some of those having small chips. Unfortunately, many are not quite sharp which makes it difficult to get the pads to cover. I managed to get all the pads to seal, but it was a painstaking job. With the right tools, which I unfortunately do not own, the tone holes can be sharpened and corrected by a professional technician.
For now, and until the next pad change, the clarinet plays perfectly!
The GL Penzel comes in a case, not original but it’s nice and cozy inside.
I suspect this GL Penzel clarinet hasn’t been played for many years.
I will ask You to “warm it up” gently. Play it for about half an hour every day for at least a month. Not more. The wood needs to be reminded it’s actually a clarinet, getting used to changes in humidity again.
This has become a very fine clarinet. It plays beautifully without any trouble.
Test sample presenting the GL Penzel clarinet
Sarah Spencer´s COVID Global Ramblers:
The price is DKK 3.000,- (EUR 410,-) plus shipping.
The reason I am selling this rare and fine instrument so cheaply is, as previously mentioned, that the barrel is not original, and the questionable condition of the tone holes. They should be fixed at some point …
Don’t hesitate to contact me if You are interested or have any questions.
– And please remember I’m not a professional repairman. If there are issues I can’t handle, I take it to a professional.
The GL Penzel clarinet is sold as it is, very old, no guarantee or money back.
Sometimes I have other clarinets for sale. Check it out here: