Liszt’s great three IMO are Don Juan, Norma & Les Huguenots. Among the lighter or experimental ones my favourites are Niobe and Robert le Diable (the WHOLE Robert le Diable, with the introductory Cavatina), but as with any Liszt there’s barely a piece from his hand which doesn’t capture something from the world. One not mentioned yet which is ready to enter the standard repertoire right away is the Berceuse from Saba.
From other composers however I really don’t know. If you cherry pick there is quality music to be found from a range of composers of the time, but the vast majority struggles to meet even B or C tier Liszt if you ask me. I think the composers most worth looking in to who were productive in the genre are Czerny, Pabst and Thalberg. Maybe with a nod to Herz who does have some good things, also among his original compositions.
I agree the genre is underrepresented and overlooked today however. Its time will come… 100 years ago you’d think piano was all about little 3 minute miniatures, with the occasional large scale work thrown in to pay hommage, even if no one really wanted to hear it. Today you’d rather think all that truly matters are sonatas, concertos and other large scale multi-movement forms.
Tausig deserves a mention. I’ve never fully got on with his Wagner, but I think that’s partly a temperament issue on my side (also I think it’s much easier, for textural reasons, to paraphrase bel canto).
Ooh, forgot Moszkowski. Someone I vaguely know (who’s good enough to have played 3) said the Venusberg tranny was almost unplayable
There are only two types of these sheeyats that I really like:
The already mentioned Liszt compositions, which are almost all worthwhile, and
Anything that involves compositions of Strauss because this thematic and waltzing sheeyat works so well in virtuoso arrangements/trannies. Though not all material of it is from operettas.
GODOWSKY deserves a special mention me thinks
See this playlist: YouTube