George Rutler is an outspoken parish priest who is well known across the country. The Manhattan-based priest appears on many TV programs, and he is also an author with over nineteen published books. In addition, he also earned degrees from several universities across America and Europe, including John Hopkins, Dartmouth, Oxford, and the Angelicum in Rome.
But what happens when he wants is away from the public and the press? What are some of the things that make him happy? Not surprisingly, he loves to listen to gospel music, with a strong inclination towards hymns. His love for this genre of music is in fact so strong that he wrote an entire book about it, “The Stories of Hymns.” Through this book, he highlights and expounds on some of the greatest hymns written through the Christianity timeline, leading right up to the twentieth century. So, who are some of his favorite composers and artists?
- Carlo Gesualdo
Carlo was the Prince of Venosa, and his legacy was highly expressive madrigals and sacred music that uses chromatic language. Other than his extraordinary music, Carlo Gesualdo is known for the gruesome murder of his wife and her lover.
After his father died, he grew his estate into a center for music-making, even though it was for him alone. His vast fortune allowed him to hire instrumentalists and singers for personal entertainment.
Even now, Carlo’s music remains among the most expressive and experimental in the Renaissance. However, there is no doubt that he is the wildest chromatic.
- George Frideric Handel
This German-born composer is famous for his oratorios, operas, concerti Grossi, anthems, and concertos. Handel trained in Halle and went to practice as a composer in Italy and Hamburg before permanently relocating to London.
Messiah was a great success, even though it was the last Italian opera he composed. Some of his most popular work includes Music for the Royal Fireworks and Water Music. Over three decades, Handel composed well over forty opera series. Since the 60s, there has been increasing interest in his work, and his influence on classical era composers cannot be ignored.
- Gustav Mahler
This Austro-Bohemian composer is recognized as one of the best of his generation. As a composer, his work was the bridge between 19th-century Austro-German and the modernism of the 20th century. Throughout his career, his status as a conductor remained impeccable, but his music was only widely recognized after a considerable time frame of neglect.
- Edward Elgar
Edward’s father was a piano tuner who was also a decent violin player, and his son followed in his footsteps. During the 1890s, Edward’s reputation as a composer was growing fast, with successful works such as the English Midlands, King Olaf, and the Black Knight.
His significant breakthrough came with the production of the Enigma Variations. This is a musical sketch of his friend, August Jaeger. The solemnity of this variation has made it a set piece for thousands of commemorations and memorial services. There is also a choral setting that uses text from the Requiem Mass, so it’s not hard to see why Edward is Father Rutler’s favorite artist.