For modern recordings I'd recommend Kissin on Olympia first, and then
Zimerman on DG. But don't overlook the older recordings by Cherkassky
and Lipatti, both on EMI! The sound is really not bad on either; the
Barcarolle shows both Cherkassky at his best, the unique tone and
spontaneity and perfect understanding of the music which allowed him to
play imaginatively. Kissin's is graced of course by that famous Kissin
tone color, but free of the forced-sounding interpretation that has soured
much of his recordings for me. Zimerman's customary warm, if modern, tone
and control of tempo are on admirable display here. Lipatti's is vintage
Lipatti, masculine and authoritative but sensitive.
My two cents.
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