Is imaging reality?

I’m thrilled that I finally reached the point in my quest where instruments are spread across my listening field like a virtual “thousand points of light.”  I would never want to go back to the dark ages of mediocre imaging, But as a former classical musician, the thought occurs to me, is this what I hear at a concert, even sitting in the first row?  What we’re hearing is the perspective of where the microphones are placed, generally right on top of the musicians.  So close that directionality is very perceptible, unlike what we hear in the hall. The quality of our systems accurately reproduces this perspective wonderfully. 
But is it this as it is in the real world?
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As I’ve said, I derive much pleasure from hearing an orchestra broken up into its component parts with imaging, even if it isn’t what is heard in a hall.  I imagining it’s exactly what the conductor hears, being right in the midst of the group and dead center.  I can synthesize the components into a unified whole, although I can see where some find this difficult or annoying.

I agree. I’m not sure why anyone would think it annoying ‘hearing’ each group of musicians on the stage as they actually are. I have many mono orchestral recordings, perhaps that is more ‘realistic’ to what you might hear in a hall, and some are recorded really well, almost stereophonic, especially in depth. I can enjoy these mono recordings both recorded and engineered well, but yes, if I had a preference, prefer imaging offered by a stereo recording, and really enjoy the recordings that concentrate on that aspect.
What I *do* find annoying is the decision of many recording engineers to spotlight the soloist in concertos.  Even a piano will not outdo a full orchestral tutti at ff.  By all means ensure that the flute, guitar, harp whatever is not swamped, but don't amp it up excessively.
Unless its the organ in Saint Saens Second. ;-)