The Dolce Tone

JMk: When Tabuteau talks about “the amplification of the dolce tone,” “forte” being the amplification of the dolce tone, I really think that this is just only an answer to one thing, and that is that he tried to counteract the natural limitations of the instrument, that is, for instance, for the tone to sound broader in the low notes and tinier in the top notes, to be sort of pyramid shaped, and he was always trying to get us to learn to play in as petite a fashion in the low notes as possible, and with as much scope to the tone in the high register as possible to sort-of overcome this, or to improve the voice of the instrument. I really think that when he says something like “forte being an amplification of a dolce tone” on that record that he made that what his point probably is that one should be able to give more and more tone when it’s necessary without ever having it come apart at the seams and come unglued and so forth and so on. That’s a wonderful thing to be able to do, but at the same time Tabuteau was completely aware of the fact that very often as the tone gets louder, extra richness has to be added to it to be commensurate with its size. Naturally, on the oboe one of the things we all have to work on, parallel to the high and low registers of the instrument, we have to work at the problem of being able to play as clearly as possible when playing quietly and to diffuse the sound enough when play loudly to keep it from sounding like getting a poke with a sharp stick. I think that’s what he meant when he said that.