Let me put it this way....

…if you have non-commercial live recordings of non-mainstream Russian pianists (i.e. no Gilels, Richter, Sokolov, Volodos), please let me know. This way I don’t need to make a separate thread for each pianist.

Tony have you ever heard of a guy called Dmitri Ratser? He would be in his 60s now I suppose.

Ratser’s rec of the Rachmaninoff 2nd Sonata is so damn good.

Finally someone who’s actually heard the name! Another friend stumbled upon a website he had almost 15 years ago now with some studio recordings available for streaming which we marveled over at the time. Needless to say the bitrate was quite low, but he did some of the finest Liszt playing I have ever heard - and as you say very convincing Rachmaninoff as well. His artistic talent was just insane, and he had the pianistic chops to back it up as well.

If I recall correctly, Ratser was a Flier pupil.

I can post his Rachmaninoff recital disc, if anyone wants it.

I want it!!!

No he’s new to me. Thanks very much for mentioning him. That’s already more than I hoped for from this thread.

It’d be great to hear that CD.

I actually found the streams he had on his website here as well, but the sound quality isn’t particularly hot. Fantastic playing though - the Queen of Sheba and Don Carlos in particular are stunning portraits as I recall.

This was supposed to be there as well:

DmRa#000a. Dates and Locations Unknown (2005 or earlier) (Studio Recordings | Mp364)

• Liszt: Chernomor’s March from Glinka’s opera Ruslan & Lyudmila, S.406
• Liszt: Les Sabéennes - Berceuse from Gounod’s opera La reine de Saba, S.408
• Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178
• Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata No.2 in B-flat minor, Op.36 [1st & 2nd mvts]

DmRa#000b. Dates and Locations Unknown (2005 or earlier) (Studio Recordings | Mp3128)

• Rachmaninoff: Étude-Tableau in C-sharp minor, Op.33 No.8 [incomplete]
• Verdi/Liszt: Coro di festa & Marche funebre from the opera Don Carlos, S.435
• Liszt: Chernomor’s March from Glinka’s opera Ruslan & Lyudmila, S.406
• Rosenblatt: Piano Sonata No.1

I think I have his Rachmaninoff 1st concerto around here somewhere too.

Night music


Thanks, which piece is that?

Liszt S.408, the Berceuse from Gounod’s Queen of Sheba.

Great, that was beautiful. I usually avoid those Liszt pieces. Seems that piece is quite rare to hear anyway.

I haven’t heard these in many years myself, but the effortless way with which he conjures up scenes from the music strikes me as just as remarkable today as it did 12 years ago. You can almost smell the perfume in the air there in the Berceuse, and he places it so perfectly in the fuzzy dreamland between awake and asleep.

Here’s the Don Carlos as well, for some rather more down to earth playing - complete with a boastful Italian tenor at center stage. If anyone is interested I can zip together these stream captures I have (all recorded from his now defunct website), but caveat emptor, and somewhere out there there must be a CD from which these were taken.


That Gounod-Liszt was beautiful, thanks for sharing!

Most interesting, never heard of Dmitri Ratser before!

Any opinions on Vazgen Vartanian? He’s a weirdo with something weird to say. I suppose he has a cult rep among Russians, that’s the feeling I get. Definitely expresses something interesting and different. I always catch myself crossing his path again, even if a lot of his repertoire is what I have little interest in. It just happened again and I’ll try to record a broadcast of his May recital this weekend.

I just listened to his Brahms/Paganinis on youtube. They were actually pretty good, though I’m not sure I found myself in the presence of a great musician. :lib:

haha :lib: :lib: :lib: I listened to some pieces again just now, and the feeling I have is that he tends to play outside the spirit of the piece. I can’t say I like it so much, despite some interesting moments.