Christopher Alt is the best piano maker is Vienna. His piano keys have given life to melodies by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. On his deathbed, moved by the wish to keep his children united, he leaves a will specifying that his descendants must live together in the family home. There are seething passions and icy relations, a world war and the rise of Nazism to contend with. Three generations of Alts live and die in the house, witnessing a Europe at the zenith of its splendour and the nadir of its devastation.