Ancient Romans pronounced the C in Caesar as a hard K, so it sounded like “Kaesar,” which is how the Germans got their word for “emperor” (Kaiser). Janson’s “natural history” is full of such fascinating details about a language that continues to shape how we think and talk centuries after people stopped speaking it.
This is not history for dummies. Writing with great sophistication and grace, Blainey weaves together the momentous events of the 20th century with insights into what life was like for common people and the effects of new technologies and medical advances.
No composer has more universal appeal than Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The plethora of concerts, festivals, recordings and publications that came in the wake of the Bach Anniversary Year of 2000 provides ample evidence.