My absolute favourite ragtime collection came to the world when I took Max Morath's two cd's "The World of Scott Joplin" 1-2 and merged them into a double album. A total of 26 rags with Joplin dominating of course with 11 tunes, but also fine examples on the compositions of James Scott, Joseph Lamb, Arthur Marshall plus a few newer compositions including two of his own. And they are beautiful! Morath has in his own words been living a ragtime life since childhood, grown up as he is in a ragtime-infected family and having performed since 1948. And you can hear that very clearly. Playing ragtime to him never becomes routine, but an ever ongoing love affair with the music and the style. And so it is an ongoing pleasure for the listener to listen closer and closer into his phrasing, his handling of the chords, his hardly hearable rythmical variations. The sound quality is perfect.
Morath is in my opinion by far the best ragtime pianist, and my best advice is: Save your postman for an extra ride and order both of them all at once. And when you have heard both of them a few times you'll also want his "The Ragtime Man"!