Alexis Weissenberg is a fairly one-dimensional pianist. In the liner notes, he says "I am basically an aggressive person, and I could not behave otherwise toward an instrument that I try to possess." In short, Weissenberg attempts to mercilessly pound the instrument into submission. His aggressive style makes the music sound hard, which it is, of course, but, as Liszt felt, virtuosity is not an end in itself but a means of getting at the soul of the music. The point of extreme virtuosity is actually NOT to call attention to itself but, rather, to make the difficult seem effortless. Weissenberg plays in a manner which seems intent on saying, "Look! I can play really hard music!" I also own and have studied the complete prelude recordings of Howard Shelley and Vladimir Ashkenazy, both of whom seem far less labored with the virtuosity and have more time for interpretation. Generally, they both even take faster tempos on the "hard" ones than Weissenberg and sound better doing it.
Having said that, is is interesting to me that Weissenberg is actually at his best when he is FORCED to interpret and emote. In preludes that are songful rather than overtly athletic (i.e. D Major, Gb Major, G Major, F Major), he strikes a wonderful balance between aggression and beauty. The D Major, in particular, is glorious, full of passion and eroticism rather than the staid, obligatory love song that is normally made of it.
I don't mean to suggest that the fast ones are bad and the slow ones are good. Many of the performances are at least tolerable. Along with the ones already mentioned, other effective performances include the preludes in C# Minor, Bb Major, E Minor, F Minor, and G# Minor. I consider this compilation an interesting disc for study and reflection on piano technique and interpretation, recommended for pianists studying the preludes. For those looking for their first, or a definitive, set of the preludes, I would recommend looking to Howard Shelley or Vladimir Ashkenazy.