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Norwegian-born pianist Pål Eide takes us on a journey from late Liszt (La lugubre 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 approach 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 climactically, highly indicative of Eide’s approach; 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 technical prowess.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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