A few days ago I posted on my preference for playing Bach over listening to Bach. Later that day I remembered, albeit somewhat vaguely and largely because I enjoy Schumann's piano music, something from Roland Barthes' essay on Schumann in his book The Responsibility of Forms. He writes:
"Schumann lets his music be fully heard only by someone who plays it, even badly. I have always been struck by this paradox: that a certain piece of Schumann's delighted me when I played it (approximately), and rather disappointed me when I heard it on records: then it seemed mysteriously impoverished, incomplete. This was not, I believe, an infatuation on my part. It is because Schumann's music goes much farther than the ear; it goes into the body, into the muscles by the beats of its rhythm, and somehow into the viscera by the voluptuous pleasure of its melos: as if on each occasion the piece was written only for one person, the one who plays it; the true Schumannian pianist -- c'est moi."[emphasis mine]
If one were to insert the name Bach in place of Schumann in this passage, it would nicely capture my own sense and experience of Bach's music.