More info about rates & qualities


Nuala Mckenna

Zoltán Kodály, GYÖRGY LIGETI, Benjamin Britten


Year of release: 2021

Sonate op.8 in B minor 35:00
1. I. Allegro maestoso ma appassionato Zoltán Kodály 10:00
2. II. Adagio (con grand' espressione) Zoltán Kodály 12:20
3. III. Allegro molto vivace Zoltán Kodály 12:39
Sonate for solo cello 08:16
4. I. Dialogo-Adagio, rubato, cantabile GYÖRGY LIGETI 04:02
5. II. Capriccio- Presto con slancio GYÖRGY LIGETI 04:13
Cello Suite No.1 Op.72 25:38
6. Canto Primo Benjamin Britten 02:21
7. I. Fuga Benjamin Britten 03:59
8. II. Lamento Benjamin Britten 02:40
9. Canto Secondo Benjamin Britten 01:17
10. III. Serenata Benjamin Britten 02:22
11. IV. Marcia Benjamin Britten 03:47
12. Canto Terzo Benjamin Britten 02:05
13. V. Bordone Benjamin Britten 03:18
14. VI. Moto Perpetuo e Canto Quarto Benjamin Britten 03:45

About this album


Throughout the years Nuala McKenna has developed a deep love for the cello solo repertoire which has taught her many things about herself. This debut album is a culmination of the process of connecting with that music. For this album she has chosen three works which share one great attribute: expression to the limit!

Zoltán Kodály played the violin, viola and piano, but his favorite instrument was undoubtedly the cello, thus he created one of the major works of the cello repertoire; Sonata in B minor for solo cello. He requires the performer to transcend his technical skills. It’s a tribute to Hungarian folk music and conjures contrasts of wide Hungarian landscapes as well as dancing in a rural pub. György Ligeti’s music extends the compositional style to which his fellow Hungarian composers were confined, also experimenting with electronic music which one can feel in Sonata for solo cello. Benjamin Britten’s Cello Suite No. 1 is the first of three which were a result of the friendship between him and the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Britten tells a spellbinding story filled with sometimes strange and perplexing sounds, with obvious influences from Spanish guitar music, Indian music and English church music.

The German-Irish cellist Nuala McKenna (*1993) was accepted a pre-student at the Musikhochschule Lübeck in 2005. From 2011-2014 she studied at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg and continued her studies in the class of Prof. Ivan Monighetti in Basel. Currently she is enrolled in the Soloists Program at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart. Since 2012 Nuala is a member and also solo cellist of the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble led by Thomas Hengelbrock. In the season 2013/14 she played as an academist in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and afterwards completed a two-year academy in the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. In March 2019 she has taken up her new position as solocellist in the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

Nuala has performed concerts with renowned artists such as Maria Joao Pires, the Talich Quartet, Boris Garlitsky, Augustin Dumay, Miguel da Silva, Olli Mustonen, Axel Strauss and Jean- Guihen Queyras and has performed as a soloist with among others the Göttinger Sinfonieorchester and Kammerorchester Kiel. She is artistic leader of her own festival ‘Musikfest Kahleby’ which was founded in summer 2016.

Download booklet



Opus Klassiek (Feb. 2021)

"Verbluffend, dit spel. Er spreekt zoveel technische zekerheid en expressieve finesse uit dat ik al vanaf de eerste maten van Kodály's hondsmoeilijke solosonate aan mijn stoel gekluisterd zat." ... "Het spel van Nuala McKenna straalt wereldklasse uit, wat in dit geval wil zeggen dat zij een vlekkeloze techniek naadloos laat samenvallen met een uitgesproken eigen visie op deze drie net zo individualistische werken." - Aart van der Wal

Basia Con Fuoco (Feb. 2021)

Haar techniek is onberispelijk, maar techniek alleen is te weinig om te (blijven) boeien, zeker als je, als enige partner je cello hebt. Nou: zelden zat ik zo aan mijn stoel gekluisterd als nu, bij het beluisteren van deze cd. Ongelooflijk spannend vanaf het eerste moment. En de spanning vervaagde niet en was tot de laatste noot ijzingwekkend, bijna thrillerachtig voelbaar.... Nuala McKenna heeft mij met haar spel knock-out geslagen en als ik eerlijk mag zijn, deze knock-out voelt meer dan lekker. Ook de opname is subliem. Zeer aanbevolen! - Basia Jaworski


Technical Specifications

Speakers KEF 105.3
Digital To Analog Converter HAPI - Merging Technologies
Mastering Equiment Pyramix
Mastering Engineer Tom Peeters
Editing Tom Peeters
Cables Acoustic Revive
Microphones B&K 4003 and Neumann KU-100 all modified by Rens Heijnis
Recording Notes

This recording is made with B&K 4003 microphones modified by Rens Heijnis, analogue and digital cables of Acoustic Revive. For the Binaural recording we used the Neumann KU-100 modified by Rens Heijnis.

Recording Format DSD256
Analog To Digital Converter HAPI- Merging Technologies
Recording Date 14,15,17 april 2020
Recording Location Koepelkerk, Renswoude, NL
Recording Engineer Tom Peeters
Production Tom Peeters