All products and recordings are chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more.

The Delta Piano Trio perform Piano Trios by Auerbach and Shostakovich

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5

The Mirror with Three Faces
Auerbach: Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2; Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2
Delta Piano Trio
Odradek ODRCD350


The Delta Piano Trio deliver a very powerful and convincing account of Shostakovich’s Second Piano Trio, one which takes nothing in the music for granted.

Throughout, there is a keen attention to details often overlooked by other interpreters. Good examples are their exaggeratedly snarling surges of sound which bring a particularly subversive element to the already frenzied Scherzo, and the violin’s grotesquely rasping open E string in the Jewish dance at the start of the Finale. Apart from these significant interpretative nuances, the Delta Piano Trio also has a fine grasp of longer-term structure, as reflected in the way they control the rise and fall in intensity of the Passacaglia, then trace the slow yet inexorable build- up of bitterness and anger through the Finale to overwhelming effect.

Lera Auerbach’s soundworld inhabits similar realms of irony and darkness as Shostakovich, even though she employs a more advanced musical language that owes much to Alfred Schnittke.

Her First Piano Trio, completed when she was only 21 years of age, has some striking ideas, in particular a sequence of high glissandos on the cello near the end of the first movement that evokes the sound of seagulls.

The Second Trio, composed 20 years later, is more complex in design, but retains the earlier work’s capacity to communicate vivid musical images. As in the Shostakovich, the Delta Piano Trio delivers strongly characterised performances and Odradek’s recording is both warm and clear.


Erik Levi