This is a saga of the international world of classical chamber music and its exponents in the years 1927-1957. The Danilevsky family, a world-renowned quartet, escape the Russian revolution only because their concert schedule has taken them to Berlin. The Schapiro family, originally from Odessa, have long been settled in Vienna. The Kolganov family escape from the revolution on the last train out crossing the border into Poland and on to Vienna, the father being killed before their eyes on a platform on the Russian frontier. The three families, and Carlo di Canossi, a world-renowned conductor and future husband of Anna Kolganova, all meet through the world of music. Their futures are entwined with David, a virtuoso violinist, and illegitimate son, which "secret" divides the families as surely as the war in Europe divides nations and peoples. As Europe slowly recovers from the war, so too the wounds inflicted on the families. The power of music works its healing magic across the generations and even death loses its sting in the joy of regeneration, the flowering of talent.