I love almost everything by Mozart. I love the symphonies, piano concertos, chamber music, mature operas, piano sonatas........everything, just about. But I really don't like the clarinet concerto or the clarinet quintet. (Though I do love the clarinet trio and usually like clarinet music.) I have listened to them countless times and on many celebrated recordings. I even played the quintet back when I still played the clarinet. But I just don't like them. More than this, I actually find them annoying and have trouble understanding what other people see in them. The quintet is dirgy and monotonous; the concerto just plain boring. The famous slow movement of the concerto seems contrived and sentimental and makes me groan with irritation - something that never, ever happens when I listen to Mozart.
Anyway, the merits of these particular pieces isn't what interests me. (I am not looking for people to defend them or recommend yet another recording.) What does interest me is the mysterious way our taste - in this case mine - opens the door to some pieces and keeps it firmly locked for others. Try as I might, I can't like these pieces and don't suppose I ever will. The door, which opens for so many others, remains locked.
My question, then, is this: Do you have trouble with a piece by a composer you otherwise love?
Just to be clear: (1) We have to be talking about a piece that is commonly held in high regard - nothing peripheral or marginal (no Beethoven Battle Symphonies); (2) You must have given these pieces a good listen over a reasonable period of time; and (3) You love or at least like almost everything else by this composer.