Wow. Thanks for that. I don't listen to much classical, like, but not through much else than ignerance and not knowing where to start, because when I do hear it I love it. Beethoven's Ninth puts the hairs on the back of my neck on end (in a good way).
JonnyT listens to a lot more stuff like that, although it tends to be classical guitar and things like Jacques Loussier (Cousteau, as I call him) and Paco de Lucia's Concerto De Aranthuez (Lunch Concerto, or is that Almuerzo).
Re. listening clues, at the moment me and JonnyT are in development of a ludicrously high quality amplifier and DAC which we hope to take to market in the spring. It's ridiculously good (although not because of anything much we've done -- we're basically putting it in a box), and whilst you're right about headphones being excellent, with this amp and in fact probably any system over about a couple of grand I suppose, you can crank it up through the speakers and it's audio heaven. Not as pure as headphones in some ways but better in others... less restricted, more natural perhaps. I'd be interested to hear (ha) what you thought of it. And through decent speakers (never before have I had a genuine justification for spending stupid amounts on hi-fi).
We're doing prototype 2 at the moment, but have had a number of setbacks involving sparks and small explosions. Today, in fact, should be the official launch of prototype 2, DHL permitting.
AAMOI what sort of quality level is your hi-fi system? And what are your phones?