My top three are the following:
- 3. Validimir Horowitz. His sheer strength and musical disposition make for a very gripping performance. His ability for perfect tonal projection and integrated rubato is quite exquisite. Love the second ballade. His Soirées de Vienne is quite awesome, as well.
- 2. Leif Ove Andsnes. His musical power is perfect, in my opinion, for the Romantic era. I sometimes wish he were less "careful" in his recordings. His technique is crystal-clear.
- 1. Gyorgy Cziffra. No surprise here. Now here is a man who fears no risk. His performances are exploding with life and pure musical vigour. His technique matches the style of music almost flawlessly. It seems impossible for him to achieve mediocrity, at least when it comes to playing Liszt. I'll never grow tired of listening to his Grand galop chromatique.
Looking forward to reading some other opinions,