Personally I've found non-concert setting piano recordings problematic, especially the well thought of high-fidelity ones.
It seems all of the "best" ones are recorded far too close to the piano, to the point that you can hear the dampers lifting and lowering. This is the reason I far prefer older piano concerto recordings that were recorded with two microphones, both far enough away from the piano that it doesn't drown out the rest of the instruments.
The piano, especially the grand piano, is meant to be listened to from a distant of at least 15 feet away, preferably even a little farther. The mechanical operations of the piano beyond the tones coming from the strings are not meant to be heard.. Yet 90% of the recordings I hear are taken less than two feet away, or even from inside the piano itself.
Even when taking distance out of the equation the piano is still notoriously difficult to record well. Here is a great write up on the subject:
I admit there are some wonderfully intimate"dirty" recordings that include mechanical noise and even the gruntings/weezings of the musician. Thelonius Monks epic Straight No Chaser is a good example, especially Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. However I find this to be the exception.
What are thoughts of the rest of you on this? Do you enjoy, or even prefer, the close up "hear everything" nature of most modern solo piano recordings?
Edited by CaffeinatedX42 - 9/2/13 at 10:43am