Jax2, though I meant a sense of space, if you have recommendations of good recordings to illustrate a sense of scale as well, I would be eager to hear them.
OK, here's a few -
So the one that I was thinking of is a very short piece on an EP of Tori Amos - it is one of two lovely piano solos on the EP, "God", titled, "All the Girls Hate Her". I think Amos' Bosendorfer must be directly miked or close-miked because it feels like the piano is right there in front of you just behind the speakers. Her use of the extra octave on the Bosendorfer contributes some if you have speakers up to the task.
My friend introduced me to a blues guitar CD by David Bromberg which has a very lifelike, forward presence of his guitar and vocals. It came as a long awaited release in 2007 called "Try Me One More Time".
Vocals on a realistic scale are not as hard to come by it seems as they are more often than not emphasized. One of my favorite artists with a gorgeous voice, Antony, has several albums where he occurs to me as right there in front of me, life size and present. His latest, The Crying Light, is very good. I also like the EP, The Lake, and the Mecury Award winning, I am Bird Now (also avaialbale on vinyl).
Jazz...hmmm, check out the ECM release, "Achirana" ...check out the cut "The Spell", though the entire CD is GREAT. The sense of scale is immediate and life-like. ECM seems to have a superb track record of for excellent recordings, at least in my experience.
Orchestral is nearly impossible to convey a true sense of scale without some very serious $ invested into a system and a large space, and even still it will likely fall short. A very dramatic example that may impress there, on a very top-of-the-charts selection of classical music (read: highly overplayed) - check out Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra doing Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man on Reference Recordings. A system capable of deep bass will be necessary.