Are there any compositional genres less fashionable these days than the piano transcription?
Once a popular element of a recital programme, they are now rarely heard. Should we perhaps blame the ideological biases of the historically-informed movement and its emphasis on adherence to composers' wishes, as mystically divined from original scores? Transcriptions have become seen as secondhand, second-rate ideas, when in truth the best are anything but.
The listening public's ever-reducing levels of musical literacy hardly help either. You don't need to be a professional répétiteur to recognise a world of difference between a bog-standard piano arrangement and a great transcription, but you do need to listen critically, and perhaps understand a bit about the capabilities of the piano.
When transcriptions are based on the greatest music, like Liszt's Beethoven and Wagner, they can elucidate a composer's intentions by paring down the musical ideas to the essentials. When the source is of lesser weight, the transcription can sometimes even improve on its original. That's what I think about Schumann's rarely-sung Der Kontrabandiste from his Spanisches Liederspiel and the piano arrangement by Carl Tausig, anyway. The playfulness and fantastical quality that Schumann only half-grasps come through much more clearly in Tausig's version.
Tausig was a child prodigy better known as a pianist than a composer during his tragically short life (he died at the age of 29). He left behind few transcriptions and even fewer original works. Der Kontrabandiste is a convenient couple of minutes in length and provides spectacular encore material for any pianist up to the challenge.
This is Emil Gilels playing Carl Tausig's arrangement (which as Hedgehog has kindly pointed out below, is available on this bargain recording):
And for reference here's the original song, beautifully sung by Stephan Loges with Graham Johnson on piano (available on this recording):