Piano versions, sometimes called redactions or transcriptions, of fully orchestrated works will never be a substitute for them. But I love to hear them for a better look into the inner structure of the originals.
Take for example the Divine Art CD titled “Tchaikovsky: Rare Transcriptions and Paraphrases, Volume 1, Orchestral and Opera.” Here pianist Anthony Goldstone plays selections by Tchaikovsky: “Marche slave,” “Potpourri on Themes from the Opera ‘The Voyevoda’,” “Theme and Variations from ‘Orchestral Suite No 3′,” and the delightful “Serenade in C major for string orchestra.”
The first transcription is by H. Hanke, the second by Tchaikovsky, and the last two by Max Lippold and Goldstone. If one has never heard the originals, these selections are all wonderful; and then one can go on to marvel at the fully “fleshed out” orchestral versions on other recordings. And what awaits in Volume 2, Divine Arts?