Daniel Kossov and Rosemary Tingley have a unique and special relationship that spans many countries, years and places they have both seen together. From an early age he has shown more than just promise at being a conductor of an orchestra, understanding the dynamics behind every musical composition and creating a world for others to understand the wonder and beauty of music. As the story begins in Volume Two Daniel and Rosemary share their time visiting the Qumran Caves, the history, the scenery and the importance of heritage and tradition to the Jewish people. Relating to readers the history of Israel, the changes it has undergone until the day statehood was declared in 1948. But, not everyone in the world has accepted his beautiful land, the people and their traditions. As the author relates their trips to many places, the fact that riding on the Sabbath is forbidden, the laws and the history of the Jewish people it is as if a symphony is planning the many different parts in different tonalities, moods and rhythms taking readers into the heart of the story. The primary story takes place in Jerusalem. This brings the story right into your own living room as she describes the events that she and Daniel enjoy together. Daniel Kossov is an amazing talent and the man creates a story in every piece he conducts and every time he stands in front of an orchestra. While working with students some artists become temperamental and often irate when their students perform below their standards. But, Daniel has a way that works a magic spell over his students and what happens is enchanting, inspirational and creates a calm within the students rather than fear or panic. His talents far exceed that of others and communicating his thoughts and wishes during any performance comes through.
There are three stories being told within this book as we take a trip back in time to Daniel as a young child of 11 and hear him play, watch him conduct the orchestra that is in his head, hearing the music never missing a chord, a beat or a note. Even when Rosemary is rehearsing for her daughter’s concert, he enters the room while she is practicing and realizes that one note is definitely out of place. Looking at the music for a symphony he realized that the D should have been for the second violins and not the first. Every nuance in each piece that he played or conducted embraced not only him but also the audience so enveloped in his music and presence. But, although we take a trip back in time we hear him play in the present at a concert in Jerusalem that Rosemary attended and so many probably still remember even today. Daniel Kossov is a brilliant violinist, composer, conductor and teacher whose appreciation of music goes beyond performing. Each event she shares with readers, every time she visits him and enjoys the food, the ambiance and the music brings everyone closer to understanding their special story, friendship and more.
The author relates the history of Father Xavier and the Monastery as he hovers of the documents that required his attention at the Terra Sancta School where students of all nationalities attended. But, the Holy Land Custody had done well when they bought this school and in 1941 the name was changed to Terra Sancta from Terra Santa. But, the Monk loses concentration when a young boy enters and he watches him conduct the orchestra in his mind and realized that he was a music student. With his father as the Dean of the Conservatory, Daniel Kossov reveled in being alone with his music. The author bring readers back to the present but then slowly relates more about his youth and his past when reminded about what the Monk’s wishes that the school return back to its original roots as a Franciscan Fraternity. Chapter 3 relates his friendships as a child, his amazing skill to conduct and create a story within a story while playing and allowing audiences to become one and the same with his music.
Daniel shared more than just his music with our author which is another story within in book as they travel to many places within the beauty of Jerusalem, visit many bookstores and find something so special within them.
Flashbacks bring the story full circle but he author’s description of what happens on a tour of Bethlehem bring to light the tension between the Israel’s and the Palestinians and the stormy night that would forever remain in her memory. Relating to readers all about his childhood, the contests he entered, the disappointments and the first time he held a violin allows readers to really understand the intricacies of this great man’s mind and the lengths to which he would go to get as he states a perfect and pure sound for each note played identical to that of the masters. Never faltering, never allowing himself to compromise even going against what his teachers taught him, Daniel Kossov’s talent is far reaching and equal to that of those who wrote the music. Forming groups of his own to play intricate pieces, able to instruct students in order to enhance his skills we learn that at an early age being able to create that one pure note or sound took courage, practice and a special understanding of the music and technique he developed. But, not every day was a picnic when spending it with him and Rosemary and Daniel endured some conflicts about their living arrangement, purchases for the house and even just what to eat and where to go for dinner. Rosemary and Daniel have a special bond and although they weathered many storms the sun managed to sun in the end.
As the music or symphony has a voice so does the story as we hear two voices Danny and Rosemary as they both tell the story in their own words. Rosemary her thoughts and feelings about Danny, her visit to Jerusalem and the end result quite remarkable. Limited friendships, difficulty at times communicating with people but never at a loss for words with the music but often remains within him.
Danny as the author states: “Has that indefinable quality: the power to bring a piece of life in performance with a singularity of purpose and energy that are the distinguishing features of the exceptionally talented.” The ending will definitely surprise you as the author relates many other concerts, many times Danny felt alone and the one thing that really matters to him the most: the music. Like a Picasso or Monet his music will flourish without imperfection as their paintings each told a story his music will remain within his mind and shared with audiences as we await Part 3.
Fran Lewis: reviewer