Hans Moennig (1903–1988), a woodwind artist-technician in Philadelphia, who worked hand-in-hand with Tabuteau in keeping his Lorée oboes in excellent playing condition. Tabuteau often frequented Moennig’s 2nd floor shop at 15 South 21st Street in Philadelphia. As an extreme example of Tabuteau’s light touch on the oboe keys, Donald Hefner reports the following in his dissertation The Tradition of the Paris Conservatoire School of Oboe Playing with Special Attention to the Influence of Marcel Tabuteau as related to him by Moennig:
In 1926 Moennig had just opened his shop in Philadelphia with the encouragement of his uncle, Walter Guetter (then Principal Bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra). Word soon spread that there was a skillful young technician in the city, and so it was not long until his shop was visited by the great Tabuteau, who entrusted him with the adjustment of his oboe, claiming that there was leakage in the note ‘g.’ With scrupulous care (which characterized his work throughout his life) he replaced that pad and saw to it that the instrument was completely airtight.
A day later, Tabuteau was back, claiming that the note was still leaking. The work was done again, even more carefully.
When Tabuteau returned a third time, Moennig was beside himself. “Maestro, will you let me watch you play that note?” he asked him. When Tabuteau did so, Moennig said, “Maestro, you must touch the key with at least enough force so the pad will touch the rim of the hole.”
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