Eide was a front cover artist in Fanfare Magazine, July/August 2017.

Click here if you want to read the Fanfare Magazine articles about Eide as a PDF scanning:

Eide in Fanfare Magazine: A Pianist’s Thoughts on Practice, Playing and Recording/Essay by Pål Eide, Reviews by Colin Clarke, Huntley Dent and Jerry Dubins

International Piano, Jan/Feb 2018, review (full version)

“Eide is a highly intelligent pianist… …tremendous, clear in terms of line yet hugely exciting.”

Grey Clouds, Music by Liszt, Ravel, Debussy and Stravinsky 

Pål Eide (pf) CDklassisk 1143, 78 mins

Norwegian-born pianist Pål Eide takes us on a journey from late Liszt (La lububre gondola I/II, Nuages gris) to Impressionism and the huge challenges of Stravinsky’s Petrushka pieces, with a Liszt Consolation as an encore.

Eide is a highly intelligent pianist, realising that clarity is of the utmost importance in late Liszt, imbuing the musical surface with palpable fragility. Eide’s low-pedal apporach results in a revelatory Nuages gris.

From this to Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit is really not a huge leap. Eide’s ‘Scarbo’ is tremendous, clear in terms of line yet hugely exciting. Four Debussy pieces are offered, with ‘Reflets dans l’eau’ an ideal companion to ‘La cathédrale engloutie’. Interestingly ‘Feux d’artifice’ is presented within the set rather than climatically, highly indicative of Eide’s apporach; instead, ‘Clair de lune’ offers closing balm. The Stravinsky, while highly characterised, comes against the likes of Pollini, Kissin and Wang and cannot sit alongside them in terms of sheer tehnical prowess.

CC, International Piano



Clavier Companion/2017, review by Wei Chen Lin (full version)

 “…Dazzling virtuosity and an innermost sensitivity… Eide’s ability to convey musical imagery is both precise and impeccable… He makes the piano sound like an orchestra, painting vividly graphic soundscapes on the piano.”

Grey Clouds – CDK 114/Pål Eide, piano

 Eide’s second CD focuses on the impressionistic nature of storytelling. He conquers two sets of the most difficult pieces from the twentieth century—Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit and Stravinsky’s Three Moments from Petrouchkaalong with four selections each by Debussy and Liszt, including Nuages gris. Eide’s ability to convey musical imagery is both precise and impeccable, from

the mysterious and gruesome (La lugubre gondola and “Le gibet”), to contem-platively nostalgic (Clair de lune and Consolation), refreshing and surreal (“Ondine” and Reflets dans l’eau), theatrically grand (La cathédrale engloutie

and “Chez Petrouchka”), and unpredictably ferocious (“Scarbo”, Feux d’arifice, “Danse russe”, and “La semaine grasse”). Eide’s playing is executed with dazzling virtuosity and an innermost sensitivity. With rich textures, complex harmonies, and sophisticated rhythms, he makes the piano sound like an orchestra, ultimately marking Eide as a gifted pianist, capable of painting vividly graphic soundscapes on the piano.

Wei Chen (Bruce) Lin

American Record Guide, 2017, review by Alan Becker (full version)

“Agonizing clarity… immense climax… gracious beauty… …revealing details not noticed in other performances. A most interesting and rewarding recital from an artist I expect to hear more from.”

GREY CLOUDS  Pål Eide (pn)CDKlassisk 1143 (77:34)

LISZT La lugubre gondola 1/2. Nuages gris. Consolation No. 3. RAVEL Gaspard de la nuit. DEBUSSY Reflets dans l’eau. Cathedrale engloutie. Feux d’artifice. Clair de lune. STRAVINSKY Three Movements from Petrushka

A fascinating recital program from a Norwegian born pianist hitherto unknown to me. The title is a translation of that harmonically cryptic late piece by Franz Liszt, ‘Nuages Gris’; it sets the tone for the entire program. Now in middle age and living in Denmark, Eide can pick and chose what he wishes to play. Liszt is further represented by his harmonically prophetic ‘Lugubre Gondola’ and his ever popular Consolation 3. If you identify grey with sadness, you would be somewhat correct. Middle age does bring that along with fear, anger, and resignation as we must now live with memories of a youth forever taken from us. Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit swallows us into a world of nightmarish images from ‘Water Sprites’ to ‘Gallows’ to the treacherous ‘Scarbo’—horrific night visions. Eide enters these worlds fully prepared, and the terrors ahead are not technical but interpretive. ‘Ondine’ is a little more deliberate than most. It emphasizes the harmonic movement and brings us an extra agonizing clarity. The climax is immense—and all the more effective for that. ‘Le Gibet’ passes slowly, thus more unpleasantly than usual (as it should), and ‘Scarbo’ makes a scary thing of the contrasts while managing to sound less manic than usual. Much of this is owing to greater use of the sustaining pedal than in many other performances. Climaxes are just this side of overwhelming. A Debussy grouping is notable for its great contrasts as well. ‘Reflects dans L’eau’ is as lovely as ever and splashes about with great abandon. ‘La Cathedral Engloutie’ is allowed to grow from within and reaches a refined climax. ‘Feux d’artifice’ reveals subtleties I hadn’t noticed before, and ‘Clair de lune’ is never lacking for tonal control or gracious beauty. A surprise comes with the virtuosic Petrouchka pieces, revealing details not noticed in other performances. If I miss some of the rhythmic insistency that others have brought to this score, I cannot complain about the subtle tones and clusters Eide emphasizes. A most interesting and rewarding recital from an artist I expect to hear more from.

Alan Becker, American Record Guide 


Fanfare Magazine/2017, review by Huntley Dent (full version)

GREY CLOUDS  Pål Eide (pn)CDKlassisk 1143 (77:34)

LISZT La lugubre gondola 1/2. Nuages gris. Consolation No. 3. RAVEL Gaspard de la nuit. DEBUSSY Reflets dans l’eau. Cathedrale engloutie. Feux d’artifice. Clair de lune. STRAVINSKY Three Movements from Petrushka

Middle age can be cruel or kind to virtuoso pianists, depending on whether their artistry has matured beyond the stage of early dazzle. Norwegian pianist Pål Eide, born in 1970, falls on the right side in this case, delivering two of the most difficult display pieces from the 20th century, Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit and Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka, with a degree of musical insight that some far more famous names would envy. As a reviewer, I come across CDs that serve, as this one does, to introduce the artist to a wider public, and as calling cards they generally lean heavily on technique, too heavily if you’re hoping to find musicality. There’s no such worry with Eide, who approaches these scores, not with the attitude of “See what I can do” but rather “Listen to what I’m feeling and thinking.”

In my mind I categorize pianists I’m meeting for the first time as poets, personalities, or powerhouses. Does sensitivity, grandeur, or individuality stand out? My shorthand is simplistic, I know, and some pianists blur the lines. For example, Eide is so powerful in the sonorous climaxes of Debussy’s Cathedrale engloutie that the reading is Lisztian in its impact—the aim isn’t delicate atmospherics. The pianist’s personal side comes out in a piece like Le Gibet from Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit, which depicts a tolling bell in the background as a corpse swings from a gibbet outlined in the sunset. Most pianists emphasize how absolutely even they can make the little bell sound, akin to Liszt’s La Campanella. Eide doesn’t—he plays in a mood of self-reflection, surrounding the gruesome scene with somber regret. It’s a lovely change from the norm, as is all of his Gaspard, which I found one of the highlights of the recital. For once, the rippling water in Ondine actually sounds musical.

The collection’s title, Grey Clouds, is a translation of Liszt’s Nuages gris, a work that’s often programmed, as here, with La lugubre gondola to illustrate how Liszt abandoned fulsome Romantic harmonies for something more ambiguous and spare, paving the way for a future where Debussy and Scriabin became possibler. Eide’s recital is far from grey—it’s a satisfying gathering of influences on the French-Russian axis, with Liszt as the original revolutionary. Every reading is marked by an assured, confident touch and a level of consideration that serves the music rather than the performer’s fingerwork. Scanning an online bio, one sees that Eide began the piano at eight and was a competition finalist from age ten. He studied in Copenhagen and Moscow; his current residence is in Denmark. It appears that he has focused his concert career in Scandinavia, but on the evidence of this CD he could play in any major musical capital and win the enthusiastic approval of audiences. My favorite kind of pianist is a seasoned interpreter who draws us inside the music’s emotional meaning, as Nelson Freire and Leon Fleisher increasingly did as they matured. Eide falls into the same category and is warmly recommended. The recorded sound from Friedrich-Ebert Hall in Hamburg is impressively full and lifelike. Slimline cardboard packaging.

Huntley Dent, Fanfare Magazine 


Fanfare Magazine/2017, review by Jerry Dubins (full version)

GREY CLOUDS – Pål Eide (pn) – CDKLASSISK 1143 (77:46)
LISZT La lugubre gondola I (1882). La lugubre gondola II (1885). Nuages gris. Consolation No. 3. RAVEL Gaspard de la nuit. DEBUSSY Images: Reflets dans l’eau. Préludes: La cathédrale engloutie; Feux d’artifice. Suite bergamasque: Clair de lune. STRAVINSKY 3 Movements from Petrushka

At 47, Norwegian pianist Pål Eide, who makes his home with his wife and three daughters in Denmark, is only now coming into his own on record. This is only his second commercial release. His first was an album titled Listen!, containing works by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Arne Nordheim, and Jesper Koch. It was reviewed for Classical Music magazine by Fanfare’s Martin Anderson, who called Eide “a pianist of a very high order.” I haven’t heard that earlier CD, but based on this new one, I can certainly agree with Anderson’s conclusion; Eide is indeed a pianist to take note of.

For his album titled Grey Clouds (from Liszt’s Nuages gris), Eide has chosen a program of more familiar mainstream works this time, but no less technically demanding. Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit, in fact, is reputed to be one of the most difficult works for solo piano ever written—at least it was at the time of its composition. I suspect that any number of later 20th-century works pose even greater technical difficulties for the player.
Genesis of Liszt’s two “sad gondola” pieces is well documented but still a little confusing. Visiting Wagner in Venice towards the end of 1882, Liszt had a premonition of Wagner’s approaching death. The piece, which came to be known as La lugubre gondola I in 4/4 time, was completed in December of that year, while Wagner was still alive. I don’t know if Liszt played the piece for Wagner, or if he did, whether Wagner appreciated being commemorated before he was dead and buried. In any case, Wagner did go to his grave two months later, in February 1883, at which point, Liszt added a 20-bar coda to the original piece, which temporarily came to be known as La lugubre gondola II. But here’s where the canal waters get muddy, for in 1885, Liszt composed an almost entirely new version of the piece in 6/8 time, which remained unpublished until 1927. When it finally did see print, it appeared with the title La lugubre gondola I, while the earlier work was designated La lugubre gondola II. I can tell you from following the scores online that the piece identified on the first track of the disc as La lugubre gondola I is indeed the 6/8 version, which comports with the back-titling described above; while the piece identified on the second track of the disc as La lugubre gondola II is the 4/4 version, which, once again, is consistent with the foregoing.
As far as I’m aware, there are no second or third versions of Liszt’s Nuages gris to confound us. The piece dates from 1881 and is generally regarded as one of the composer’s most daring and adventurous experiments. Despite its brevity of less than three and a half minutes, and its ease of execution, the piece tests the outer limits of common harmonic practice in ways that did not go unnoticed by later 20th-century composers. While the piece is not technically atonal, Liszt relies heavily on augmented chords—such as F-A-C and C-E-G—and the avoidance of cadential resolutions to create the impression of constant shapeshifting, which is a prominent feature of clouds. The effect is similar to music based on the whole-tone scale in which all triads are augmented and all chords, by definition, are dissonant, thus denying resolution. This makes Liszt among the earliest composers to dabble in Impressionism and the beclouding, if you’ll forgive the pun, of tonality that the whole-tone scale produces.
Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit has become such a repertoire staple it hardly needs any introduction. I will say this about it though: Ravel is said to have intended the last of its three movements, “Scarbo,” as a “there, take that” technical challenge to Balakirev’s Islamey. Just for fun, I watched YouTube clips of both pieces, and although I’m not able to say which of the two works is technically and physically more demanding, I can say that Ravel’s composition strikes me as taking greater advantage of the modern piano’s capabilities, particularly of the improved escapement mechanism which allows for very rapid repetitions on the same note. But that’s only one of the weapons in Ravel’s arsenal of lethal munitions. Others include lightning-fast arpreggios in contrary motion, glissandos on the black keys (way more difficult than the more common white-key glissandos), and the interweaving of melody and harmony between the two hands in such a way that the effect of a third hand is created. Famed pianist Alfred Cortot called the composition “one of the most astonishing examples of instrumental ingenuity ever contrived.”
Islamey strikes me as a culmination of the grand Romantic tradition of Liszt, Alkan, and the great Russian virtuoso pianists at the end of the 19th century. Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit of 1909 seems less of a summing up than of something new. The imagery of the Aloysius Bertrand poems Ravel sets and the music he conjures to portray them is surreal, nightmarish, hallucinatory, and horrific. There’s more than a little of Gaspard de la nuit in Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire of three years later (1912).
Despite its extreme difficulties, or perhaps because of them, pianists in great numbers have risked reputations and careers to perform and record the work. Few have managed to deliver the goods with the hair-raising effect Martha Argerich achieved in her 1974 recording of the piece for Deutsche Grammophon. But there have been other brilliant versions as well by Vladimir Ashkenazy, and more recently by Steven Osborne and Yevgeny Sudbin. I have to admit, though, that still my all-time favorite, next to Argerich, is a recording by Cécile Ousset on an Ars Vivendi CD that is still available at Amazon.
Pål Eide, on the disc at hand, gives the two ladies a run for their money, demonstrating as well as they do that there is more to Gaspard de la nuit than making a meal of its technical difficulties. Eide pays special attention to the fantastical aspects of the piece, putting real faces on the characters of Ravel’s tone poems, grotesque and hideous as those faces may be. Some of Ravel’s well-known pieces—La valse and Tzigane, for example—are corrosive caricatures of popular 19th-century models, and Gaspard de la nuit falls into that category, its precedent model being a piano work like Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Originally composed in the year or so in between Gaspard de la nuit and Schoenberg’s aforementioned Pierrot Lunaire is Stravinsky’s Petrushka, and it too sets forth a nightmarish, surreal scenario in which live human dancers playing the roles of puppets act out a story of love, rejection, jealousy, and murder. It’s interesting that so many musical works, all composed within this same timeframe, seem obsessed with the gruesome and the grotesque. Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle of 1911–12 is another one. Are these really just the decaying corpses of 19th-century Romanticism?
In 1921, Stravinsky extracted three movements from his ballet and arranged them for piano, specifically for his friend Arthur Rubinstein. I don’t know why that strikes me as funny, but it does; I guess because the piece is considered to be almost as difficult, if not equally so, as Gaspard de la nuit, with “wild and rapid jumps which span over two octaves, complex polyrhythms, extremely fast scales, multiple glissandos, and tremolos,” and Rubinstein, great artist and musician that he was, was not particularly acclaimed for his spectacular technique. One
comes to find out, though, that in his early career Rubinstein was quite a champion of Stravinsky’s music, performing even his own transcriptions of the Russian composer’s orchestral works for audiences around the world. Be that as it may, though I could be wrong, I don’t believe Rubinstein ever recorded Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka or the composer’s Piano-Rag-Music, which was also written for Rubinstein but premiered by José Iturbi.
Pål Eide brings all of his technical and musical talent to bear in the Stravinsky, as he does in the familiar pieces by Debussy, Liszt, and Ravel. What I think impresses me most about Eide is that while he has chosen for his recital some of the most technically difficult pieces in the solo piano literature, which he executes with dazzling virtuosity, his artistry lies as much in his head and his heart as it does in his fingers. He has a way of getting inside the music to elucidate the extra-musical imagery behind the notes; and make no mistake, these are all pieces of a programmatic and/or Impressionistic nature that call for storytelling and scene-setting. Eide proves himself a tremendously gifted graphic artist who traces his designs on the keyboard of a piano in the medium of music.

Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine


Fanfare Magazine/2017, review by Colin Clarke (full version)

GREY CLOUDS – Pål Eide (pn) – CDKLASSISK 1143 (77:34)

LISZT La lugubre gondola I (1882). La lugubre gondola II (1885). Nuages gris. Consolation No. 3. RAVEL Gaspard de la nuit. DEBUSSY Images: Reflets dans l’eau. Préludes: La cathédrale engloutie; Feux d’artifice. Suite bergamasque: Clair de lune. STRAVINSKY 3 Movements from Petrushka

Norwegian-born pianist Pål Eide, now resident in Denmark, studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, the latter with Tatiana Nikolayeva. As hestates, his disc is conceived as a kind of “revolutionary symphony.” It’s a nice idea to focus on the move from the Romantic period to the 20th century, as manifested in the music of Debussy and Stravinsky. The “symphony” idea means that one hears the individual movements, be they by Liszt, Ravel, Debussy, or Stravinsky, as a part of a greater trajectory, a greater whole, while simultaneously tracking the composers’ influences on one another.

It is completely fitting, therefore, that the recital opens with late Liszt, La lugubre gondola I and II, a pair of elusive, cryptic pieces that create a bridge between worlds. Eide’s La lugubre gondola I is dark, but he commendably shies away from drenching it in pedal, which gives it a sort of macabre fragility. The second piece is even more skeletal, again dry but with a tremendous sense of individual voices. Intriguingly, Eide also finds a lot of the more “Romantic” gestures of Liszt here in this more extended piece; the pull of the past is heard alongside the beckonings of the mysterious future. The disc itself is named after Nuages gris, an (in)famous late piece in which tonality and its function are questioned at every turn. Again, Eide uses little pedal for the ominous tremolandos, yet he finds the acute ache of harmonic suspension in the left-hand accompaniment figure.

The shift to Impressionism does not seem such a leap in this context. The impeccably delivered opening to “Ondine” from Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit is bathed in glinting light and enshrouded by a spider’s web of delicacy. Eide creates a magical sheen; melodies are beautifully done, and the movement moves to a climax naturally, although the climax itself is slightly disappointing, as Eide just misses the ecstasy. Yet, in compensation, his way with a pedalled single line around six minutes in is up there with the best (one thinks immediately of Argerich, Aimard, and Pogorelich as representing the highest echelon of recordings of this work.) The tolling of “Le gibet” benefits from Eide’s projection of stillness. There is no sense whatsoever of hurrying at any point in this movement, and chords are beautifully weighted throughout. What really puts this version up amongst the greats is the “Scarbo,” amongst the most purely musical on disc. A huge amount of thought has clearly gone into this reading, not least in terms of elucidation of texture.

The quartet of Debussy pieces is thoughtfully done, in particular Eide’s linking of the spaced chords of “Reflets dans l’eau” to the opening chords of “La cathédrale engloutie.” This sunken cathedral finds time suspended, the tolling of its bells a mere watery memory; temporal flow is replaced by the timeless flux of water, perhaps. The climax is well sculpted, with the low Cs nicely resonant. Debussy’s fireworks flit beautifully, with technique hardly a consideration; yet again it is the reflective moment (the quotation of the Marseillaise) that impresses most. The famous “Clair de lune” is thoughtful and magical at the same time.

The Stravinsky comes up against huge competition, perhaps most notoriously in the shape of the imposing Pollini (DG), but there is also Yuja Wang to consider (also on DG), while Kissin (RCA/Sony) has his admirers. To compound matters, Daniil Trifonov gave an unforgettable live performance of the Three Movements from Petrushka at London’s Barbican Centre in January this year, and one hopes this is the precursor to a recording. Eide’s reading of the “Russian Dance” has some slowings not indicated in the score (around

1:05, and around 1:51 he slows a lot earlier than indicated), and there are a couple of clumsy-sounding moments. That said, his reading of the poco accelerando and the comma (Luftpause) between measures at 2:05 is beautifully done: Again, it is the lyric side that triumphs, a side that works particularly well in the central “Chez Pétrouchka.” The filigree detail of the Andantino of this movement, too, is most moving. Commendably, too, Eide makes the “cadenza” sounds as such, a quasi-improvisatory exploration of Stravinskian musical space. The infamous “La semaine grasse” is well realized, with the various dances excellently characterized; and while the final pages demonstrate some sense of strain (also a middle line just before the end, a horn solo in the orchestral version, gets rather buried in the texture), this remains a fine version.

The Liszt Consolation comes across in context as an encore, and a much needed one. It dissipates the frenetic energy of the Stravinsky while reminding us of just how sweet a tone Eide can coax from his instrument. The tissue delicacy of the piece’s end almost enables us to hear it anew, and with such a famous piece, that really is saying something.

This is a fascinating recital, well recorded (in the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg) and delivered. Pål Eide is clearly a sensitive, questing soul.

Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine



Politiken/2017, review by Thomas Michelsen (full version)

Overlooked Pianist Plays with Greatness and Delicacy

 Pål Eide is modest, but his album reveals an extremely sensitive musician.

Grey Clouds. Pål Eide. CDKlassisk 1143.


It is easy to follow the mainstream releases from the big international record companies, but if you go off the beaten track, you can run into beautiful surprises.

Pianist Pål Eide is a Norwegian, residing in Denmark for many years. I have never heard him live. Actually, I have only experienced him as a music page turner for another pianist at a concert at Louisiana (Museum of Modern Art), Humlebæk, and for that I am sorry.

His album “Grey Clouds”, which is released internationally, is certainly daring in its delivery, but the interpretation is, above all, delicate.

Eide masters tender and complex expressions in a repertoire that goes from Liszt’s moderately experimental gloomy mist in the two versions of ‘La lugubre gondola’, which is connected to Wagner’s death, and his ascetic, but strongly progressive ‘Nuages gris’, to Ravel´s notoriously difficult ‘Gaspard de la nuit’, in which the pianist is forced to demonstrate his technique. Above all, he shows a sensitivity which also dominates when the music is at its most technically demanding.

His sense of timing in the culminations is flawless.

Debussy pieces like ‘Reflets dans l’eau’ from the collection “Images” is sheer flimmering impressionism, and the spaces between the single notes in ‘La cathédrale engloutie’ are saturated with meaning. The CD’s famous hits, Debussy’s ‘Clair de lune’ and the third, most popular, of Liszt’s nocturne-ish “Consolations” are given new life from Eides hands. Even in the three absurdly technically difficult movements from Stravinsky´s rythmically electrifying ballet music from “Petrushka” – which is probably the reason why he appears photographed with band aids on all his fingers in the music magazine Fanfare, in which the album has been reviewed in connection with its release – strength seems less essential than nuances and reflection.

Of course, Pål Eide can turn the pages, so that any colleague would feel safe, but I want to hear him play concerts. Big engagements should be waiting for this reflective musician, who is always putting the music before himself, no matter how much the virtuosity, and its emotional meaning before its effects, as spectacular as those may be.

Thomas Michelsen, Politiken, review by Martin Anderson (full version)

Grey Clouds, CD

Liszt La lugubre gondola 1 og 2; Nuages gris; Consolation Nr 3; Ravel Gaspard de la nuit; Debussy Images: ‘Reflets dans l’eau’; Préludes: Feux d’artifice’ ‘La cathédrale engloutie’; Suite bergamasque: ‘Claire de lune’; Stravinsky Trois mouvements de Petrouchka

Pål Eide (klaver)

CDKlassisk cdk 1143 (78 minutter)



Pål Eide is a Bergen-born pianist who now resides in Denmark; this release comes from the Danish label CDKlassisk, which uses a minimalist approach that suits the programme: a simple cardboard wallet to hold the CD and a brief, eight-page booklet, with notes in English and Danish. Eide’s programme takes its title and its direction from Liszt’s Nuages gris, as does the presentation – it’s all greys and half-lights, that subtle, crepuscular interplay of day and night where rain-laden clouds hang threateningly in the sky. The mood changes dramatically – though without really lightening – for Stravinsky’s Trois mouvements de Petrouchka. To my mind, Petrushka is Stravinsky’s most inventive score, and in the Trois mouvements he produced a sort of piano-sonata digest of the best of it, without losing the underlying current of violence that gives the ballet its edge – and the sheer difficulty of the piano version brings an excitement of its own. Eide’s playing is fabulous: he has all the subtlety you need for the half-colours our three Impressionist composers require (I’m including Liszt as an Impressionist here: what else are these pieces?), but it’s in the fierceness of Ravel’s ‘Scarbo’, the monumentality of Debussy’s ‘La cathédrale engloutie’, the unpredictability of his ‘Feux d’artifice’ and the jagged contours of Petrushka that Eide’s pianism takes on an electrifying edge that makes this recording exceptional – and the recorded sound is excellent, too. Eide writes about the logic behind this recording in a blog on his website, at, where it seems that he has made only two CDs. Perhaps that explains why he isn’t better known, but here is proof that he deserves a far higher profile than he has so far achieved.

Martin Anderson,


The Wholenote/2017, review by Alex Baran (full version)

Pål Eide has chosen a perfect title for his recording Grey Clouds (CDKlassisk cdk 1143). He contrasts the melancholy of twilight in works by Liszt and Debussy against even darker forebodings in the music of Stravinsky and Ravel. His playing is deeply personal and anything but grey.

Beginning with Liszt’s two similarly titled works La lugubre gondola, Eide sets a stage where the ambiguity of twilight becomes a surprisingly peaceful experience. He expands this through Debussy’s Reflets dans l’eauLa cathédrale engloutie and Claire de lune.

The contrast of threatening darkness comes from Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuitLe gibet is especially haunting, with its repeating note emerging from Ravel’s clustered harmonies.

Eide moves his program back toward the twilight with Stravinsky’s Three Pieces from Petrouchka. His measured approach, if slower than most performances, gives both Danse russe and La semaine grasse an ominous weight. As if to place an “amen” at the end of his recording, Eide gives an exquisite performance of Liszt’s Consolation No.3.

It’s a thoughtful and effective program, beautifully played. Eide has made just two recordings but his abilities suggest he should do more.

Alex Baran, Wholenote




Klassisk Musikkmagasin/2010, review by Martin Anderson (full version)

Pål Eide: Listen!

Bach English Suite No. 2, BWV.807; Nordheim Listen!; Koch Images of Lorca; Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, op. 36; Prelude in G major, op. 32, Nr. 5


“When I first opened this CD from the pianist Pål Eide (born in Bergen in 1970 and now based in Denmark) and saw the title – Listen! – I thought it was one of those silly labels people sometimes give recordings in the hope that they stand out from the competition. After all, what else can one do with music – eat it, smell it? But I had forgotten about the 1971 composition of the much-lamented Arne Nordheim, Listen!, which requires, well, the listener to do just that: it is a study of treble and bass registers, and plays upon the resonances they set up in the piano. Images of Lorca (1997) by the Danish composer Jesper Koch (f. 1967) is a crystalline evocation of Spain, seven minutes in length and glassily elegant. It’s in the more familiar repertoire that Eide’s impressive pianism stands out: his Bach is as clear as a mountain stream, and his Rachmaninov has just the right blend of melodic fluidity and rhythmic precision – it is plain that he is a pianist of a very high order, and I look forward to hearing more of his work.”

Martin Anderson, Classical Music Magazine


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