Because the Iberia suite contains some of the most difficult music written for the piano, it takes a virtuoso of the top rank to bring it off as the composer intended. Alicia De Larrocha recorded Iberia three times, and (despite having small hands) her first traversal on Hispavox, which is not ideal, is still the best of the bunch. I do not care for the pianism of Marc Andre Hamlin and have not heard his much-touted Iberia, so his recording will remain out of the discussion. A review of Esteban Sanchez's Iberia got my attention a number of years ago, but my initial reaction to his recording was not as enthusiastic as I had hoped. Having returned to his traversal after a long interval, I can say that the things that bothered me then are still noticeable, but they no longer disturb me; in fact, I think on the whole Sanchez's reading is exceptional and, were it not for the tinny sound which interferes with enjoyment of music that's as sensual as this, I would award five stars.
There's one other thing: as good as Sanchez is, he's not in the same class as Claudio Arrau whose 1947 recording of the first two books of Iberia is one of the landmarks of the catalog: Claudio Arrau - Great Pianists of the 20th Century I or Liszt-Piano Concerto No. 2/Schubert-Wanderer Fantasy/Albeniz-Iberia (rec. 1953/1955/1947). Compare how Sanchez cautiously approaches the fiendish passages in Rondena and Triana, and while he articulates every note along the way, so too does Arrau whose tempo never lets up. Not only was Arrau one of the few pianists with the technical equipment to tackle this repertoire - and it's a shame he didn't record the third and fourth books - he also had the temperament to go along with it. His Iberia is sensuous, authentically atmospheric, magical and deeply mysterious, if not mystical in places. If you want to hear how Iberia should sound, find one of Arrau's recordings.