Only YW sort of made Islamey sound like music to me (and she rewrote it too). For the Rach sonata, I prefer the original to the Horowitz, but the Horowitz to the revised. It’s been a while since I listened to Horowitz’s version, I probably need to revisit it. I don’t particularly like Horowitz’s sound at the time he played the work, it would’ve been nice to hear him play it in the 40s or earlier.
I’m so overwhelmed by his 1968-11-24 (broken string) recital that I probably condone the edition simply because of that performance! I haven’t heard a recording I like yet of the original edition - which is probably also VH’s fault.
Islamey is a showpiece, but I like it and I think Horowitz solved a structural problem with it with his edit. The second half of the piece sounds a little tiresome in Balakirev’s original me thinks, as if the theme has been used up and presented too often.
The second movement is heavenly - in spite of the interruption - and the whole recital has this sense of ~occasion~ hovering over it. Each and every work on it are my gold standard reference performances, although some of them shared with other artists. It’s just such a shame the circulating copies are in such poor shape. Difficult to do something about at the moment as well.