Well it's interesting to say that even Liszt was annoyed with HR2 before long, and he banned the piece from performances by all his students, except on select occassions (he also banned Chopin's 2nd Scherzo because he felt it got too much attention). The reason I dislike HR2 is certainly not because it is too damn popular, though. I used to like it a few years ago, when I was first discovering Horowitz and didn't even know of Cziffra, for that matter. My first recording of the piece was indeed Horowitz's own, and I felt that there could hardly be a piece with more excitement and so on..
However, once I started listening more to other pianists like Cziffra and hearing other pieces, most importantly the other Hungarian Rhapsodies, and even, for that matter, doing some moderate research in the history behind the real Hungarian Rhapsodies of the nomadic gypsies, I felt I developd a considerable understanding for the compositional style which Liszt was trying to emulate, though I will not claim to be anywhere near expert. However, when I started listening to the HR2 with knowledge of other pieces, especially the Rhapsodies, I started to hear a truly *ridiculous* piece, unlike any of the other HRs...the thematic material itself irritates me and I have grown extremely bored of it, and it isn't because I've heard it too many times, or because I know "everyone" plays it.
My dislike for the HR2 then is really a highly personal matter...interestingly, Cziffra wasn't excessively fond of the piece himself, and played it without a cadenza and with reservations to counterbalance the typical flamboyant performances of the piece. But that alone isn't reason for me to dislike it either, of course.
I did like LC the first time I heard it too, of course, because I spent a long time after that learning the piece...but again that was back in a time when just about anything would impress me, and I had never even heard of some of my current favourite pianists. Now, I realise I don't care much for the popular LC because I see the original violin concerto, which is very creative and interesting, and the original Liszt etude, which is nicely spread out and draws from other sources, and am disappointed that the 2nd version is a loose theme and variations outline, which I find greatly limits the usefulness of the piece in this case. I also think it's annoying that so many people play it slowly to try and imbue it with who knows what, yet the violin rondo is quite fast and elegantly devillish!
I think if I dislike any of the two pieces based on popularity, if one is so intent on making that accusation, it would be LC--but I think that it's even more possible that it's because I spent so long on the piece myself, when I wasn't ready for it, and eventually gave a mediocore performance of it and harmed my wrists...
And I just don't like listening to it as it rarely strikes me as effective.
It all just comes down to, basically, whether you enjoy listening to the piece or not. I've really given up on disliking pieces that are too popular, or at least for the most part.
And I guess it's kind of hard to compare Schumann's etudes to Liszt because for the most part they both used different caprices/other works...I do like Schumann's, sure thing, but I just find that in this case Liszt's are more effective and practical. I'd still love to play Schumann's in a recital, though.
One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.
You know, some people just have natural talents-like some people play the piano but aren't very tall.