Delta Piano Trio

Ensemble
biography
Our piano trio journey started in the fall of 2013. Despite being from the same country, the Netherlands, the three of us never met before running into each other in Salzburg, Austria. After a Dutch pancake evening we decided to learn some piano trios and take lessons with two incredible musicians, who turned out to have a big influence on us; Wolfgang Redik from the Vienna Piano Trio and Rainer Schmidt from the Hagen Quartet. During those first few weeks it became clear that there was something special about our collaboration and we quickly decided to prepare for our first international competition in Vilnius, Lithuania. There we won the first prize, but more importantly we discovered that we had a blast traveling together and making music in a new place. We learned a lot from each other and had a lot of fun while doing it. We shared the same excitement over a newfound vegetarian restaurant and our similar sense of humor got us in trouble at nearly every official ceremony because of uncontrollable laughing fits. These facts might seem futile, but in chamber music this kind of understanding is very important. On days where we are in disagreement we just can’t play well and no amount of rehearsal hours can fix that. Music is enigmatic enough as it is, but chamber music works in even more mysterious ways. On good days on stage there can be moments of pure telepathy, where you can both read the minds of your partners, psychically predict the next musical current and still be surprised by the next phrase. It’s a form of magic that is an endless source of inspiration.

Since that first trip to Vilnius we have performed extensively in Europe, Russia, Israel, China, Korea and the United States and won prizes at various international competitions (1. prize International S. Vainiunas Chamber Music Competition, Lithuania - 1. prize Salieri-Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition, Italy - 1. prize Orlando Competition, The Netherlands - 2. prize Gianni Bergamo Award Competition, Switzerland). Debuts at the Salzburg Chambermusic Festival, the New York Chamber Music Festival and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam followed. In March 2017 we made an extensive tour through China and Korea, as well as Israel. In April 2017 we released our debut CD, with works by Borodin and Taneyev, for Naxos Records. A second CD, with works by Lera Auerbach and Shostakovich, will come out in November. We travel the world and explore music with 6 ears, 6 hands and 94 strings, but with one common factor: a love for chamber music.

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Short Profile

NameDelta Piano Trio Founded2013
Main languageDutch; Flemish Additional languages English,  French,  German,  Spanish; Castilian 
Reviews
Review The Mirror with Three Faces - BBC Music Magazine
2018-04-23 BBC Music Magazine , London
"

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 interpretive 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 sound world 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 characterized performances and Odradek's recording is both warm and clear.

"
(Erik Levi)
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Gramophone Collector - Three's Company
2018-04-01 Gramophone Magazine , London
"... there's still an unmistakeable sense of [Lera Auerbach's] music fitting into the Russian tradition of Shostakovich, whose Second Trio, in a vivid, wide-eyed performance, opens the disc. There's definitely something serious going on beneath the surface here and the Delta Piano Trio manage to find it - even while throwing themselves wholeheartedly into Auerbach's seagull cries, motorbike drones and wobbly imitations of a musical saw. You'll need a sense of humour, but I found it irresistible."
(Richard Bratby )
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Lebrecht - Album of the Week "AN HEIR TO SHOSTAKOVICH?"
2017-12-24 slippedisc , London
"

As the last releases of the year drop through the door, this is an instant ear-grabber. The debate has raged for three decades as to whether Dmitri Shostakovich was a limp Soviet puppet or a secret resistant. One view was advanced by US musicologists, who would not be satisfied until they had a signed document saying 'I hate Stalin', the other by Russian friends and fans of the composer who heard his dissidence expressed in the music.


Thankfully, the dispute is being resolved by a new generation of musicians who come fresh to the music….


"

(Norman Lebrecht )
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LEBRECHT LISTENS | The Delta Piano Trio Stays True To Shostakovich And Auerbach
2017-12-22 Ludwig van Toronto , Toronto
"

"As the last releases of the year drop through the door, this is an instant ear-grabber.... 


....The Delta Piano Trio's account of Shostakovich's second string trio, dated 1944, leaves no doubt to the composer's state of mind in the closing stages of the Second World War. Ostensibly a tribute to a late friend, Ivan Sollertinsky, the work ripples with anger and frustration at pointless deaths and ruined lives - the appalling legacy of the Stalin-Hitler era. The last two movements, with their overt Hebrew melodies, are a protest at Soviet indifference to the Nazi holocaust of the Jews. I don't think I have ever heard the finale played with more explicit regard to the composer's intentions.


...Gerard Spronk, Irene Enzlin and Vera Kooper are the excellent trio players, and Odradek's new Italian studio sounds idyllic."

"
(Norman Lebrecht )
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Zwei wie Eis und Feuer
2018-03-11 Der Spiegel , Hamburg
"Das erst 2013 in Salzburg gegründete Delta Piano Trio hat sich einfühlsam mit Lera Auerbachs Musik beschäftigt, woraus eine Freundschaft mit der Komponistin erwuchs. Eine Vertrautheit, die man hört.

Gerade das namensgebende Kernstück der CD "The Mirror With Three Faces" lag den Trio-Mitgliedern Vera Kooper (Klavier), Gerard Spronk (Violine) und Irene Enzlin (Cello) besonders am Herzen. Beinahe orchestral anschwellende Parts ("First Unfolding") weben in kurzer Zeit ein dichtes Klanggeflecht, dem ein tänzerisch auftrumpfendes Intermezzo folgt. Auerbachs Stil der wechselnden Akzente und Klangfarben macht aus dem "Spiegel mit den drei Gesichtern" ein scharfes Kontrastbild zum vorangestellten Piano Trio No.1, das dafür in seiner konzentrierten Knappheit fasziniert. Die Ouvertüre der CD mit e-moll-Trio Op.67 vom Dmitrij Schostakowitsch, einem verwandten Meister der Kammermusik, darf sicher als Vorbild-Entwurf verstanden werden.
"
(Werner Theurich)
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Delta Piano Trio gives off impressive business card
2018-03-30 Trouw , The Netherlands
"

Delta Piano Trio gives off impressive business card


One of the iconic chamber music works of the 20th century is the Piano Trio no. 2 in e minor, op. 67, by Dmitri Shostakovich. The work, written in 1944, is an epitaph for a friend of the composer who passed away, as well as for the millions of Jews who were murdered in concentration camps at that time. The hesitating and chilling beginning with thin harmonics is the ultimate voicing of that suffering. 
The young Delta Piano Trio gives off an impressive business card with a very intense performance of this work. Violinist Gerard Spronk, cellist Irene Enzlin and pianist Vera Kooper guarantee a very inspired performance. They combine Shostakovich with two trios of Russian composer Lera Auerbach (1973).
Her compact Piano Trio no. 1 is grafted on Shostakovich's sound world, but certainly has an own identity, shown for example in the bizarre, quasi-baroque opening with sounds of screaming seagulls.
Her grand Piano Trio no. 2, 'This Mirror Has Three Faces', is a fascinating, three-part music mirror in which the composer makes the listener doubt what is reality and what reflection.
This CD, also gorgeously designed, calls for further acquaintance with Lera Auerbach and the Delta Piano Trio"




Christo Lelie
Trouw, 30.03.18

"
(Christo Lelie)
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Delta Piano Trio Showcases Lera Auerbach
2018-04-08 the rehearsal studio blog , San Francisco
"About a month ago Odradek Records released a recording of the Delta Piano Trio entitled The mirror with three faces. The trio consists of three Dutch musicians, violinist Gerard Spronk, cellist Irene Enzlin, and pianist Vera Kooper, who only met because they all happened to be in Salzburg (in Austria) in the fall of 2013. Pretty much on-the-spot they "decided to learn some piano trios" (their words in the album's accompanying booklet), receiving coaching from Wolfgang Redik of the Vienna Piano Trio and Rainer Schmidt of the Hagen Quartet."
(Stephen Smoliar )
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Knisternde Spannung
2018-03-28 Pizzicato , Luxembourg
"★★★★★

"Glowing performances of three great piano trios. Be it in the most energetic or in the very quiet and meditative passages, the Delta Piano trio plays with great intensity and crackling tension."
"
(Remy Franck)
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Cliff-edge intensity - The Mirror with Three Faces
2018-01-22 Klassieke Zaken ,
"

After recording a succesful Taneyev-Borodin CD for Naxos Records - exceptional repertoire and exceptionally well-played - there are many reasons to look forward to a second CD from Vera Kooper (piano), Gerard Spronk (viool) and Irene Enzlin (cello), who make up the Dutch Delta Piano Trio.


There are already quite a few recordings of Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2, a harrowing and poignant lamentation on the death of a friend, but this new recording certainly adds something: a cliff-edge intensity. It is music that leaves the listener sitting on the edge of his seat. It is, however, the combination with the recording with the two piano trios by Lera Auerbach, the composer who left the Soviet-Union at the age of 17 to spread her wings in the US which makes this CD particularly interesting. Auerbach is 44 years old now and her oeuvre is both original and idiosyncratic.


Because of Auerbach's music's refined variety of tonal and atonal elements, you could call her a kindred-spirit of Alfred Schnittke. This music could be labelled "post-modern" or "eclectic", but her music is more; fresher while more intense, exciting and constantly varied. This music fits the Delta Piano Trio like a glove, as they work their way to the top.

"
(Gerard Schelten)
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Review Tanayev/Borodin - Opus Klassiek (Dutch)
2017-05-17 Opus Klassiek,
"Het Delta Piano Trio werd opgericht in 2013 in Salzburg opgericht. Dat doet vermoeden dat er Oostenrijkse musici in het spel zijn, maar niets is minder waar, want het betreft uitsluitend Nederlands musici: de pianiste Vera Kooper, de violist Gerard Sponk en de celliste Irene Enzlin. Het cd-debuut van dit trio mag veelbelovend heten, want er wordt met grote overtuigingskracht en veel verve gemusiceerd, waarbij nog komt dat werd gekozen voor de pianotrio's van Tanejev en Borodin, iets minder bekend repertoire dat zeker voor een debuut-cd van moed getuigt."
(Aart van der Wal)
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✮✮✮✮✮ Delta Piano Trio: virtuosity and elegance at Conway Hall
2016-12-05 Bachtrack , London
"Regarded by fellow musicians as one of the most promising young ensembles, the Delta Piano Trio have made a name for themselves with their raw, uncompromising musicianship, their energy and a willingness to invest oneself beyond comfort...



...It was interesting to hear a less gushy and overblown interpretation of Rachmaninov's G minor trio than one normally encounters. Keeping composure is very important in this work, whose impact is dependent on retention and intensification effects. Yet the Delta Piano Trio managed to keep an iron grip on dynamics and tempo, without tangling up in rubatos. Gerard Spronk and Irene Enzlin were passionate, eluding wanton prettification. As for Vera Kooper, thoroughness and beauty of tone shone in equal measure throughout this 15 minute work. And this was just the opening number.




The Delta Piano Trio then gave a characterful, rhythmically buoyant account of Haydn's E minor Trio (HOB. XV:12). Though the instrument for which Haydn wrote his music differ in many respect from Conway Hall's lustrous Bösendorfer, Kooper managed to find the perfect key dip and lightness of touch, so that she did not overpower her partners. This went hand in hand with a playing style sharply contrasting with what we heard in Rachmaninov – none of the accursed chopping in which even distinguished pianist indulge; a neat and tinkling tone instead, along with insightful phrasing. Lowered dampers allowed her to achieve subtle effects without diminishing the clarity of the right hand, which was always perfectly steady. After a courteous Andante, the Rondo offered us an opportunity to admire both the Trio's technical skill and their flair for choosing a dramatised interpretation that avoided monotony.

"
(Julien Hanck)
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Im Russland der Gegensätze - Salzburger Kammermusik Festival
2014-06-20 Drehpunkt Kultur , Salzburg
"...Nebulös durchscheinend wie Milchglas und reich an präzisen Konturen wie eine Landschaft nach einem Gewitter schwirren Flageolettklänge durch den Saal. Rasant und beinahe fröhlich schreitet der zweite Satz, man erkennt den Schostakowitsch der Jazz-Suiten, der spielerischen Tänze wieder. Darauf folgen Largo, Allegretto und Adagio und somit die wunderbarste Viertelstunde dieses Abends...

...Mit jugendlicher Frische, mit vielen Ideen, frechem Witz und großem Tiefgang erfreuen sie das Publikum. Nicht enden wollender Applaus ist die Belohnung. Nicht nur, dass ihre große Bühnenpräsenz und ihr wunderbares Spiel eine Wonne sind, ihre Spielhaltung, die Blickkontakte, die sichtbare Kraftanstrengung, mit der beeindruckende Fortissimo-Passagen bewältigt werden – das alles macht den zweiten Teil des Konzerts zu einem absoluten Höhepunkt für alle Sinne. Man hätte gerne mehr gehört...


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...harmonic sounds buzz through the hall, nebulous translucent like frosted glass and rich in precise contours like a landscape after a storm. The second movement proceeds fast-paced and almost cheerfully; you can see the Shostakovich Jazz Suites, playful dances again. This is followed by Largo, Allegretto and Adagio and thus the most wonderful quarter of an hour of this evening...

..with youthful vigor, many ideas, cheeky wit and deep thoughtfulness they delight their audience. Non-ending applause is the reward. Not only that, their great stage presence and wonderful playing are a delight, their playing position, the eye contact, the visible effort, the being overcome with the impressive fortissimo passages - all this makes the second part of the concert to an absolute highlight for all the senses. One would have liked to have heard more..
"
(Stefan Reitbauer)
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