[ Its a pleasure to report that most of the performancesomitted from the Royal Edition have now appeared as part of a new mid-priced"Bernstein Century" series. Especially welcome are the Berlioz on SMK 60696, the Ives on SMK 60203 and the Mahler on SM2K 63159. The new series also includes valuable mono recordings that wereineligible for the all-stereo Royal series (Bernstein conducting his own music and astunning 1956 Bach with Glenn Gould on SMK 60211) as well aswonderful sets of unjustly obscure modern American symphonies by William Schuman (SMK63163) and Roy Harris, Randall Thompson and David Diamond (SMK 60594). Its alsogratifying that the covers of the new edition feature wonderful portraits of Bernstein, asif to restore true genius to its proper place. The overlap between the two sets suggeststhat Sony may be atoning for (and apparently replacing) its royal blunder and at last willdo itself proud by this essential segment of its catalog. For a complete survey of the new "Bernstein Century" discs, please see .]
RUNE: In a writing system designed to be scratched or carved on a flat surface such as wood or stone, the individual letters are known as runes. Typically, these markings have few or no curves, circles, or dots, but instead, each mark consists of a number of straight cuts or strokes. (The strokes may, however, involve complex combinations of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines.) Runic writing systems tend to appear in areas where paper or parchment are scarce or unknown or where ink is commonly unavailable. Typical runic marks might indicate ownership of a house or object, they may be magic spells designed to be cut or scratched on a shield as a pagan protective charm, and they may mark boundary stones. It is accordinly rare to find lengthy literary writings done in runes--which naturally tend to force brevity upon the communicant given the effort involved in cutting or carving them. Runes were common among ancient and medieval inhabitants of Scandinavia, the continental Germanic tribes, and among the Anglo-Saxons who invaded Britain. By the High Middle Ages, parchment, pen, and ink had largely displaced the runic writing systems. Contrast with markings among the Celts.
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Unfortunately, Koussevitzky's intensity is not fully apparent from his studiorecordings, the best of which feature his Sibelius (collected on Pearl 9408), Tchaikovsky(on RCA 60920), Prokofiev (on RCA 61657), Ravel (on RCA 61392) and modern Americans (onPearl 9492). His art was far better conveyed on 25 concert CDs from the Italian AS Disclabel (#s 550 through 574), whose importation in America has now been banned followinglegal action by the Boston Symphony, which apparently feels very threatened by remindersof its past glory.