I think I would tend to agree here. The composer's own recording is also strong, but Salonen's orchestral playing is IMO superior. I don't think the Naxos Wit or the Gardner are on the same level. An interestingly slower alternative view of the work is offered by Kofman on cpo--I don't think it's entirely successful but it's a big contrast to other readings, and is interestingly paired with the only reading of the 2nd to completely convince me of the work's merits.
(FWIW, my 3rd of choice is BPO/Lutoslawski. The composer may have compared it unfavourably with Salonen's recording, but I think he was being overly self-critical here.)
Are you sure you're not speaking of the famous 3rd, in which Salonen and the composer are definitely rivals,... but the 4th?
I like Salonen/LA Philharmonic on Sony.
... because Salonen's recording is very early, and I thought someone newer would have perhaps eased into it more (I seem to recall Salonen being not totally transcendent in the 4th, like he wasn't ready to make it sound better than it is- eh? (not saying it isn't great))?
No, I'm sold on Salonen in the 3rd- I should probably again get that blue Sony.
Also, that EMI 3-cd: does anyone know is it a regular width jewel case or what?
To me, ole Luto has such a limited Ooo-vre- his Discography is pretty well mapped out now and there's really nothing to GET (oh no, what shall we do?!?!). The EMI set and Salonen cover most all you'd really want,... plus, I like the Alban Berg a lot in the SQ,... maybe the Double Concerto on Philips,... Cello Concerto with Slava,... what is there?,...
So, whp do we like in the Piano Concert
o? There's quite a lot to choose from. I'd be a sucker just for the DG, but there's too many others contending. Eh? (have I asked this before?) (am I gearing up for a CDCDCD run?