I'm quite sure the piano was a C. Bechstein, but I learned from Rafael that it was a piano donated to that venue. It's over 100 years old, and he mentioned that it was the piano making all the noises, so it's probably in dire need of rebuilding. I'm sure it must have been very distracting to the pianist especially. I've certainly heard better renditions of Mephisto. (One of my favorites is by a generally unknown pianist, David Bean.) But given the poor condition of the piano, the god-awful acoustics of that venue, and sound equipment obviously not up to the task, I cut the pianist some slack.
Under those circumstances, I think you're right to make allowances.
For a better recording, which is virtuoso as well as musical (and boasting some tiny freckles), try this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xprr-ozuM08
It has some nice points (in particular the middle section) and is certainly ok for a live performance; but the freckles are bigger than you credit them.. or maybe I know the piece too well.
A Mephisto very definitely not for the purists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a5RS0NBI4U
Petri plays Busoni's edition/paraphrase. Never particularly liked the alternative ending, but some of the textures are remarkable.