The process of sound recording is a creative one, which allows me to expand my listening perspective beyond 'front row center' or 'the conductor's podium'. There are many challenges I face as a producer and an engineer: different acoustics, different repertoire, changes in ambience, and (in the case of historically-informed performances), different instruments played by the same performer. The overriding challenge, however, is to create a convincing performance which will engage the listener's emotions as well as intellect.
My recording philosophy is to present an accurate audio image of the performers, from the perspective of well-placed microphones, rather than from a distant audience member. Once I evaluate the acoustic space and how sounds propagate in it, then I can choose specific microphones to create the 'sound image' I desire.
I believe that, as each microphone model has unique characteristics, they should be thought of as an artist's paintbrushes: some work better for large ensembles and others for close-up solo work. The same goes for microphone preamplifiers: some pass through fine detail, and others sound 'warm'.