I have the Harnoncourt Mozart Requiem. It’s sublime.
(Was my first show-off of the new surround system to my wife; after it ended, I put on a well-regarded Telarc stereo Mahler and went out in the kitchen for some wine; after a while my wife came and told me, “your horns aren’t working”. That was her reaction to stereo after the multi-channel experience: “broken”.)
But never mind multi-channel, I abandoned that. The Harnoncourt is wonderful in stereo. A thoroughly modern, high precision recording, with knife edge clarity. Which I value highly.
But when I grew up in Sweden, in the 60s and 70s, there was a school of recording with simple miking, ideally just two in a well-designed room. No near-field instrument miking, no gigantic mix boards. Very clean and realistic. Too expensive to set up the venue and the instruments and the personnel and the rehearsals for today’s world. But lovely. Some still do it. I had a Mozart Requiem on vinyl, and loved it.
That recording appeared on HDTracks in 24/192 format. It is wonderful.
Now, many may think it silly to preserve a 70s recording that way: needs neither 24 nor 192. It is certainly softer and less precise than the modern Harnoncourt. Can’t pinpoint instruments or voices.
But by comparison, it sounds like a musical experience, where my beloved Harnoncourt sounds like surgery.
This has been a strange experience for me. Undermines my most cherished beliefs.