Advance Press (2020)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (06/2020)
Rosemary Tingley brings her distinctive trilogy to its conclusion in, “Daniel Kossov – Pictures of an Outstanding Musician Part 3: The Calling.” While this story will most certainly be enjoyed by enthusiasts of the classical music world, it’s also an inspirational story that will be enjoyed by fans of biography and memoir.
Daniel Kossov is a creative genius. Born into the music world – music is the very essence of his being. Kossov holds himself and others to impeccably high standards. His instinctive ability to know how any given piece of music is supposed to sound leaves him prone to dissatisfaction as he endeavors toward perfection, often succumbing to deep depression. He is the very definition of being misunderstood and his attempts to enlighten others often create strife in his personal and professional relationships.
In this final book of the series, Tingley seeks to dig deeper into the psyche of Daniel Kossov. Who is the man behind the music? It’s clear from the very start this is a formidable challenge as her subject is not an easy man to get to know or even very approachable at times. Given that Tingley is a personal friend of Kossov, one might think it easy to write about him. Yet, while reading, I found myself relating to Tingley’s task at hand as figuratively trying to squeeze blood from a turnip. Even so, Tingley’s gentle manner and sheer admiration for Kossov enables her to indeed, give us a glimpse inside the man, and it is because of her relationship with Kossov that she is able to provide the reader with a unique perspective.
The way Tingley presents her story, offering narrative that is as personable as it is informative, endears the reader to Kossov. Tingley relays her message through vignette type stories, each chapter recalling a particular time in Daniel’s life that exposes more of what drives him. I enjoyed the firsthand experiences and found myself in awe of Kossov’s instinctive abilities. Tingley’s writing style is genuine and charming, every word connecting the reader personally with her subject. Also interspersed throughout the biography are original poems by the author that further support Kossov’s story. The beginning of her poem, Pledge, sums things up perfectly:
“I must have meaningful work to do
Or my life is worthless
To do what God would have me do
To follow the Spirit rich and true
My secret heart does know it.”
The final section of the book is the most gripping, in my opinion. Kossov and Tingley have a heart to heart and connect in a way they seemingly had never done before, its authenticity bringing the trilogy, “Daniel Kossov: Pictures of an Outstanding Musician” to a most satisfactory conclusion.
As an aside, I learned much about the author as well through her interactions with Kossov. Perhaps she might consider writing her memoir one day.