I don't particularly like the way Rachmaninoff plays these pieces. He seems to play a little too mechanically for my tastes. It just sounds like he's simply playing the notes alot of the time. I don't think that these piano concertos should be overly-phrased and made more gushy and sentimental than they are, but there has to be something in the middle. However, some of the expressiveness may be lost by the bad recording quality.
I also disagree with the assertion that a composer is automatically the supreme interpreter of his/her own works. As a composer/performer (I realize that I'm not even on the same plane as a composer like Rachmaninoff, but I think I can draw some parallels from my own experiences), I have written works which I have performed and which have been performed by others. When having my pieces played by others, I usually just give them the music and let them play it however they want. This often leads to relevations about the music I have written. For example, a player may phrase or emphasize something completely differently than I would have, and it can be great to discover things in your own works that you never even considered possible! Additionally, I think as composers, we can sometimes view our compositions in an overly structural way (not seeing the forest for the trees sometimes). Sorry if I'm off track, but my point is that, as I said, I don't think that it is wise to automatically assume that a composer plays their own pieces better than anyone else does...
That being said, this isn't a bad recording at all. His playing is technically very good, and even if the composer isn't the supreme interpreter, it's still very interesting to hear their take on their own creations (which is almost always different than anyone elses). I agree that the cuts in the 3rd concerto are somewhat annoying, and in the first movement he opts to play the "easy" version of the cadenza (there are two versions in the music, the more difficult of which is, in my opinion, far better and more effective). I believe that in the CD booklet it said that later in life, Rachmaninoff felt that some of his writing was long-winded and as he began favoring economy, he made cuts in some of his pieces (this is perhaps an example of his overly focusing on structural aspects and not seeing the big picture - I can't imagine anyone agreeing that the revised, cut version he plays on this disc is better than the original).
Anyway, this is a worthwhile disc from both a musical and historical perspective. From a purely listening standpoint, however, I would opt for Bronfman's version of these two pieces (which also cost about 7 bucks). Of course, at this price, why not get both and decide for yourself?? Enjoy