For the Record, Op. 165: Kejia He's Ysaÿe Sonatas; Una Sveinbjarnardottir's 'Last Song'

July 30, 2021, 5:39 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Kejia He
Violinist Kejia He.

Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas for Solo Violin
Kejia He, violin

A former student of Kurt Sassmannshaus, violinist Kejia He received his BM, MM and DMA from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a Starling scholarship student. He is now a faculty member of the Shenyang Conservatory. Here also is an interesting review in Fanfare that lists other versions of the six sonatas. BELOW: He plays Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor (à Jacques Thibaud) : I. Prelude – Obsession (Poco vivace)

Last Song
Una Sveinbjarnardottir, violin
Tinna Þorsteinsdottir, piano

"Last Song" alludes to a daily tradition on Icelandic radio Ra´s 1, in which an Icelandic lullaby, love song or ode to nature is played just before the news hour at noon. Violinist Una Sveinbjarnardóttir wrote the title track "Last Song" before the News as the album’s final statement; what she calls “apocalyptic visions” in her piece hint at what the news might be. Yet leading up to that point are works from a wide range of periods that illustrate a broader interpretation of "last song": a moment of clarity just before great change, a stillness balanced between nostalgia and anticipation, or in her words "the moment of just being." BELOW: On the making of "Last Song":

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our Thursday "For the Record" feature, please e-mail Editor Laurie Niles. Be sure to include the name of your album, a link to it and a short description of what it includes.

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