Table of Contents Peck

Donald Peck Interview

Page 1

Donald Peck studied with Tabuteau in ensemble classes at Curtis during the early 1950’s.

Tabuteau was a wonderful musician and a monster.


Tabuteau’s kind letter to Donald Peck about work on the Telemann Suite.

Tabuteau tried to get a mixture of string and wind ensembles in the chamber music classes.

Tabuteau was strong on how to play with other people – continuity of ensemble.

Playing with different dynamics and still playing beautifully.


Blending of vibrato.

Tabuteau’s smoking using a piece of cane as a filter.

Cherry cough drop story.

Did not demonstrate on the oboe in ensemble class.

Tabuteau’s playing got wilder [lots of rubato] in his later years.


Distinction between narrow and fast vibrato.

Possibly how Tabuteau developed his playing principles.


Students imitation Tabuteau were unconvincing.


Understanding of systems varied according to student’s needs.

“The perfect tone is the intensification of the dolce quality.”

Tabuteau and Kincaid strong on centering the tone.


Up and down impulses as extension of over the bar line phrasing.


f-sharp to g versus g-flat to f.

Learned not only from Tabuteau and Kincaid verbalizing concepts, but also from listening to them, Curtis students, and the Philadelphia Orchestra perform.

Peck’s reminder that his perception is colored by his own personality.


On balancing chords.


The meaning of mezzo forte.

Important concept: play on the air.

The length and attack of a tongued note varies with where it is in the line.


Some of the most beautiful chords have no attack on any instrument.

Tabuteau very big on entering with no attack.

Slur – Tabuteau wanted the air to be carried through the second note of the slur.


Tabuteau and Kincaid were not Baroque specialists; there was no such thing then. Everything was played in a romantic vein.


Tabuteau was a paradox. He wanted you to play freely, but on a firm rhythmic foundation.

Stravinsky’s rhythm.

Triplet vs. duple eighth notes.

Exact dotted eighth and sixteenth rhythm.

Tabuteau used to pantomime moods in ensemble classes.


Tabuteau conducted concerts discreetly.


Donald Peck believes emulation to the point of self-destruction is not good.


Influence of Stokowski – vibrato, balance, attack.

Evolution of more natural vibrato in Philadelphia Orchestra Wind Section.


Tabuteau’s influence.

Tabuteau and Kincaid – a matter of great collaboration and great competition.