Perhaps it could be that playing the piano means different things to different people, and whilst some approach it as gospel, others simply see it as an intellectual endeavor…..cue Glenn Gould:
He “infamously” said that he didn’t care much for the sound of the piano, and many assumed it was just Glenn being Glenn, but here’s the gist of it:
I understand where he was coming from, for you see, I approach the piano in a similar way; in the sense that listening (to the sound) happens by extension but not by intention, for that would be like listening to/and loving the sound of one’s own voice; something some ‘round here love to do!
It’s intellectual, I say, and when I play the piano I’m mostly doing that: analyzing, deconstructing, breaking things down to their core element and then piecing them back together; only, the “second” time around these “core values” have a little bit of Pete in them.
This is the reason why no one plays Bach better than Glenn; because he understood things conceptually (through constant analysis), and he didn’t simply “bring out the melody,” but rather understood that, as it relates to Bach, the “melody” can be anything, everywhere, all at once; the “melody” can be the lowest voice, the inner voices, and/or even the rhythm itself!
Many completely miss Glenn, and associate his approach with playing fast, detached, and staccato, but his true genius lies in the timing/phrasing; something arrived and/or derived from analysis and not from nostalgic romanticism…….
“Una cosa mentale,” that’s what playing the piano is to me!