The Composer's Legacy

Fiction - Historical - Personage
331 Pages
Reviewed on 07/03/2017
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Author Biography

The idea of marrying music to a novel is not an original one, but I thought the composer and author being one and the same person would be a novelty. By using several pieces I had already composed along with a few new ones, the idea was to share my music with the reading public. However, creating a mythical composer who ranked among the greatest composers who ever lived was a daunting and humbling experience. As a result, I had to rethink the few pieces I discussed and only partially completed (Reverently Isabella being one of them).

Two pivotal works, The Sunder and the String Quintet (pictured on the cover of the book), were featured specifically to tie the music with the action of the story.

When Carla reads the score to The Sunder, she's so taken by it, she plays it on the piano for David. After playing it, not only does the instrumentation of the music--just 3 oboes--have meaning, but the opus number has such significance, the late composer captures it in his program notes (which you will find in the reading).

Exactly how the String Quintet finds its way in front of the public I will not reveal here, but the description of the piece and how it unfolds is described in detail while the reader has the opportunity to compare the description with the piece. I thought that would be an original touch.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

The Composer's Legacy by Michael DeStefano is a beautiful work of fiction, based on a historical personage, that combines the arts with the great skill of storytelling to offer readers an amazing treat. David Whealy is a renowned California music professor who tumbles on an unexpected inheritance. It all starts with a simple, short letter that reads: “You have been named sole beneficiary to the estate of Mr. James Burton West. Further instructions will be forthcoming in accordance with the wishes of the benefactor.”

David’s life changes suddenly as he finds himself catapulted to the other side of the country, digging into the significance of his inheritance from one of the world’s best music composers. He finds more than unpublished music, and it seems to David that his benefactor didn’t even know the extent of his own wealth, guarded in the family from one generation to another since 1724. Now, he’ll find out about his colonial ancestor and an iron key that opens to a secret that could even change the destiny of the entire nation.

The Composer's Legacy is a great work, brilliantly plotted and intelligently written. The reader will enjoy the appreciation of fine music, the excellent writing, and the gripping plot. Michael DeStefano is a great storyteller and his writing features some of the finest literary styles, including a masterful use of the epistolary, great dialogues, and an engaging narrative style that will have the reader gripped from the beginning to the end. The cast of compelling characters, the well-handled themes, and the strong storyline are elements that set this novel apart as a work of great entertainment.