Shortly following my first summer with Tabuteau in 1962, a series of correspondences ensued between the Tabuteaus and myself that continued right up until his death–and beyond with Mme. Tabuteau. Presented below are scans of their letters to me followed by transcribed excerpts of letters (Tabuteau specific) that I sent home to my family in Atlantic City, NJ during those three wonderful summers. Fortunately, my parents saved all of the correspondence. Also shown below are two handwritten drafts of typed letters that I sent to Tabuteau concerning oboe repertoire and urging him to come back to the states to record. The correspondence below begins with two postcards by Mme. Tabuteau and two letters by Marcel Tabuteau from 1962 written after my return to the states that first summer. The New Year’s greeting card was enclosed with the December letter. M. M.
September 9, 1962
October 5, 1962
November 1, 1962
December 12, 1962
NOTE: Regarding the Tabuteau’s 1963, 1964 and 1965 correspondence, most of the envelope images are omitted since there is little variation from the 1962 envelopes as seen above.
March 28, 1963
June 19, 1963
(July 8), 1963
The following postcard was sent in the above envelope
September 18, 1963
December 14, 1963
(December 23), 1963
The following card was sent in the above envelope
January 6, 1964
February 23, 1964
April 13, 1964
June 4, 1964
September 19, 1964
December 8, 1964
February 14, 1965
March 26, 1965
April 26, 1965
July 2, 1965
The postcard below referencing Adrian Gnam was sent in an envelope now missing.
October 11, 1965
Marcel Tabuteau’s last letter to Marc Mostovoy
December 16, 1965
Marcel Paul Tabuteau-Guerineau died in his Nice apartment on January 4, 1966
The following correspondence to Marc Mostovoy is from Louise André Tabuteau.
January 9, 1966
November 6, 1967
January 8, 1968
Mme. Tabuteau’s last letter to Marc Mostovoy
July 30, 1969
Louise André Tabuteau died in a sanitarium near Paris on October 31, 1973
Transcribed excerpts of correspondence (Tabuteau specific) I sent to my parents during the summers of 1962-1964
June 29 postcard
Arrived in Nice 8:30 AM [June 28] and went to hotel to freshen up. Then at 11 AM went to see Tabuteau. I woke him up. I don’t know whether or not he wanted to teach me but when I gave him the pinch bottle of Haig & Haig, the tide turned and he agreed to teach me. [Details of my first encounter appear on pgs. 481-482 in Laila Storch’s Tabuteau biography.] I’ll go to him every few days. I had my 1st lesson and he is great. He is a very nice person and so is his wife. She even went with me today to try and find a place for me to live which isn’t too expensive. By the way, he isn’t charging me anything to study.
July 12 letter
I happened to mention to Mme. Tabuteau that I was worried because I hadn’t heard from you and she explained that many postcards don’t get through. She suggested that I write you letters because they usually get through to the states. [Two postcards sent previous to this letter were not received yet so the first Tabuteau encounter was restated.]: It was 11 o’clock (AM) when I got there. It was a little too early because I woke him up. He wasn’t too happy about that, but when I gave him the pinch bottle of Haig & Haig that I bought when I got to [Nice], he all of a sudden was very glad to see me. [He told me to come back for a lesson later that day.] From then on we have been hitting it off good together. His wife even tried to help me find a place to stay the next time I saw him. I gave him the first-chair record which also made him happy because he didn’t have one. I take a lesson with Tabuteau every 3 or 4 days. He is a wonderful teacher and a wonderful person. His wife is also a terrific person. They both have so much energy. He just turned 75 on July 2nd. He is just like grandpop Schiff with a terrific sense of humor. He likes me very much and we get along very well together. I am his only pupil and he doesn’t even charge me anything. Once and a while when I go, I bring him or her a little gift. They seem to appreciate it.
July 18 letter
As far a Tabuteau is concerned, he is great. He has a great mind and is a great musician. The only trouble is that some of what he says is too far above me and I don’t understand what he means. He says that is only natural and that I will have to think about the ideas he gives me for years and that some day I will understand. He says he was about 40 years old when he started to understand was music was about. He and also Mrs. Tabuteau are so nice to me. He even recommended that I go and take a few courses at the conservatory. He has a terrific sense of humor and he says that I should go to him and learn what to do and then go to the conservatory and learn what not to do. He has a very good point there.
July 25 letter
It will be a good idea to write a letter [of thanks] to the Tabuteaus. They have been very nice to me. He is a very smart man. I’m sorry to say that some things he tells me are above my head, but most things he says I understand. He is really a great musician.
August 10 letter
Also, Tabuteau has a Loree oboe that he says he’ll sell me for $400. He guarantees that I can sell it for at least $550 in the states and as high as $650. [According to him] It’s a beautiful oboe and I won’t have any trouble selling it. He said de Lancie could find me a buyer tomorrow. Do you think it’d be worth the investment? I think he’s doing this as a favor to me. It sounds good especially since he’ll write a letter proving it was made to his specifications. By the way, Tabuteau got your letter and told me to tell you that it was very nice of you to write it and he thanks you.
August 13 letter
I just had a lesson with Tabuteau. He told me to send the enclosed card to you [now missing]. He also said that I had better not take a chance on the oboe. He said I might have trouble with Customs and besides, maybe I might have trouble selling it because I don’t know much about oboes. I could still buy it if I wanted it. I don’t know what to do. I think I could sell it at a nice profit but I may have to hold it for a year or two. If you think the investment is worth it, let me know.
August 16 postcard
I had another lesson with Tabuteau today. I asked him about the oboe again. He says that the oboe would sell for about $750 in the states. He says I could give it to de Lancie and he would sell it for me. It has a beautiful tone. I might not be able to sell it right away–that is the only catch. Do you think that it is worth the investment? It doesn’t matter to Tabuteau either way. [He says] He is just offering to me as a favor.
August 23 letter
I guess you’re right about speculating with musical instruments. Maybe it doesn’t pay in the long run. I was only thinking of it to help bring back some of the money you spent on me this summer. So I’ve decided like you suggested, not to buy the oboe unless he is willing to wait for the money until I sell it.
November 10 letter: Facsimile of my handwritten draft of a typed letter I sent to Tabuteau concerning oboe repertoire and urging him to come back to the states to record.
July 14 letter
Everything is going well so far. Tabuteau and I are hitting it off great. He has been in an excellent mood and has gotten interested in teaching again. I’ve seen him twice in three days already. I spent about four hours with him yesterday. A couple of oboe players from the U.S. (students who were in Europe for the summer) stopped in Nice and asked him to teach them and he said he would give them a few lessons. Tabuteau told me to come to the lessons and watch how he teaches them. It’s amazing what he did to those boys in just the one lesson that I observed so far. After the boys left, we talked for a couple hours. By the way, all the things I bought them they liked. The cloth and hernia belt fit him just right and she liked the set we gave her. Mrs. Tabuteau went with me to send it [a telegram] because the post office people (where you send the telegrams) didn’t speak English. Mr. Tabuteau got your birthday card right on his birthday. He thought it was beautiful and said that he liked it so much that he wrote you a thank you note. It made a big impression on him as I thought it would.
July 21 letter
I see Tabuteau 3 or 4 times a week. He’s in good spirits and I’m learning a lot. We have a lot of things going which I’ll tell you about when I get home. So between Tabuteau, Swarowsky and Loewenguth, I’m up to my neck in work every minute.
July 26 postcard
All my time is spent at Tabuteaus, Swarowsky, or chamber music classes. I’m not practicing as much as I’d like.
July 30 postcard
Everything is going well. I’m so glad I came back for the summer. Tonight I am supposed to go to Tabuteaus for supper. I was at his place for about 3 hours this afternoon. They are really treating me well.
July 31 letter
I had supper at Tabuteaus yesterday which he cooked. It was delicious. It took about 2 hours to eat the dinner. I’ll tell you about it when I get home.
August 6 letter
I have a lesson with Tabuteau tomorrow morning.
August 9 letter
I see Tabuteau twice more. I have a lesson with Tabuteau during the day (15th).
August 13 postcard
It’s been a great summer. It’s a fortunate thing that I came back. I’ll explain further when I get home.
November 15 letter: Facsimile of my handwritten draft of a typed letter I sent to Tabuteau concerning oboe repertoire, urging him to come back to the states to record, my interest in forming a chamber orchestra, and other related matters.
June 28 letter
About 1:00 in the afternoon [June 26] I went to see M & Mme T. and spent a couple of hours there. He is having a lot of trouble with his rheumatism. Otherwise, they are alright and were glad to see me. I’ll be seeing him a few times every week.
July 8 letter
Mrs. T. is helping me learn some French. She is a good teacher. I see Mr. T. 2 or 3 times a week. He’s still the best musician in the world—hands down.
July 13 letter
I’ve been seeing Mr. T. about 2 or 3 times a week. He invited me over for supper a few days ago and it was delicious. He is really a very excellent cook. He likes to do all the cooking and shopping. Mrs. T. told me that she doesn’t dare do a thing with food.
July 20 letter
Of course I still go a couple of days a week or more to Tabuteau.
July 31 letter
Tabuteau is better than ever. He has something new to teach me each lesson.
August 10 letter
Please drop the Tabuteaus a card thanking them for being so good to me. I think they would appreciate it.