In an interview with Bill Evans, John Mehegan mentionned the Bach Chorales and asked if there were any particular composers in the classical heritage who particularly affected him.
Evans answered, "All of Bach certainly is essential to any musician. I have grown closer to Bach as I grow older; there is such a wealth of knowledge and feeling in his music that one can never fully discover it. To me, it’s a constant food of inspiration and motivation, and it is a thrill and a pleasure for me to spend a few hours with Bach whenever it is possible. This would also be true of Brahms as well as such modern composers as Hindemith and Bartôk. l've read some Schoenberg and have found some of the music quite beautiful; however, most of my time has been spent with Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and, of course, the French and Spanish Impressionists. There's a whole world of music to be discovered, and I can’t possibly see why anyone would wish to deny themself both the knowledge and pleasure of this music. If someone is unable to read some of this music, they should at least listen to it through recordings."
Mehegan also asked if he felt his technique and control of the piano had been vitally assisted by his experience with classical music.
"Definitely!" he replied, "I say that because you are compelled to think another person's thoughts, therefore, your hands are directed into areas that they might not normally travel if left to their own impulses. If you play only your own ideas, you will naturally favor your strong points and, at the same time, avoid your weak areas. You can't play the piano wrong and, at the same time, play Bach right or, for that matter, any composer."