I was looking at Rachmaninov's Prelude in C Sharp Minor. In the first section, a number of chords are played. The way they are written indicate that the pianist has to overlap his hands partially, such as here:
However, this could also potentially be played as follows - no longer requiring hand-crossing:
What would make a composer choose one of the two? I am not very familiar with music theory, but I would imagine playing the non-crossing version is easier?