Hello, Del - Well it's certainly been too long since you've posted. Sorry your life's schedule is keeping you from your music. --Work late at night! Who needs sleep anyway?
This is an effectively melancholic piece, with a gently ominous layer to it also. Such a dramatic title!--visions of death? or of the world's end?
That piano has a very extreme stereo field, so it's the player's perspective. That kind of stereo spread is only possible when sitting at the bench. That's probably fine with you, since it's a recording your producing, and I don't think the sonic limitations of real life need to hamper what we do in recordings. Just pointing it out as something to consider - because at times you may want to create more of the impression of a piano on stage, in which case a piano's sound becomes almost monophonic. When I need to tame a wide stereo spread on a piano like that, I use Sonar's Channel Tool which narrows a stereo image easily.
You said we lose perspective on our own work, and of course that's true, but ultimately, we're still the experts on what we're doing, so input needs to always be measured carefully.
That being said, I want to say that I find the orchestral layer to be plenty loud, I don't think it would sound as good as this, with the piano nicely soloed, if the strings were any louder.
Thanks much for the chance to hear this!