Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (CD & Book)

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Author: Esolen, Anthony
Publisher: Saint Benedict Press and Tan Boo Pages: 296
Binding: HC + CD
Code: 2426
Dimension: 140 x 215

Real Music by Anthony Esolen – and the accompanying CD of 18 hymns recorded by the St. Cecilia Choir of St. John Cantius Church in Chicago - is a comprehensive and fascinating guide, in print and song, to the great hymns of the Church. It shows that, unlike much of what is sung in too many Catholic churches today, good music, “Real Music”, combines great poetry with doctrinally sound lyrics and beautiful melody. 

With noted Catholic author Anthony Esolen as your guide and the St. Cecilia Choir as your muse, join the Catholic Musical Renaissance which is truly a recovery of the best that has been sung and prayed down through the ages. You’ll be glad you did. 

Real Music is arranged by events in the life of our Lord and the seasons and Sacraments of the Church. This book/CD set will teach you much about poetry, music, and the Catholic Faith itself. What better way to learn your Faith than through beautiful music! 

Whether at home in your favorite easy chair, or among friends in an informal class at your parish, Real Music will bring you deep into the lyrics and melodies of the great hymns that so magnificently offer praise and honor to God. 

Real Music is meant to be savored; first by reading Esolen’s masterful explication of the poetic, melodic, and doctrinal elements of a hymn and then listening to the hymn itself on the accompanying CD.


1. Ah, Holy Jesus (Herzliebster Jesu) (Ch. 5)
Text: Johann Heermann, 1630;
trans. Robert S. Bridges, 1899
Tune: Johann Crüger, 1640

2. At the Lamb’s High Feast (Salzburg) (Ch. 7)
Descant by Rev. Scott A. Haynes, S.J.C., 2016

3. Come Down, O Love Divine (Down Ampney) (Ch. 8)
Text: Bianco of Siena, 15th cent;
trans. Richard F. Littledale, 1867, alt.
Tune: Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906
Descant by Rev. Scott A. Haynes, S.J.C., 2016

4. Jesus, Priceless Treasure (Jesu, Meine Freude) (Ch. 6)
Text: [cid:ii_15792f297ebb7165]
Tune: [cid:ii_15792f2fa0355c9f]

5. Lead, Kindly Night (Lux Benigna) (Ch. 9)
Text: John Henry Newman, 1833
Tune: John B. Dykes, 1865

6. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (Picardy) (Ch. 2)

7. Of the Father’s Love Begotten (Divinum Mysterium) (Ch. 4)
Text: Marcus Aurelius C. Prudentius, 4th c.;
tr. John M. Neale (1818-1866)
Tune: Plainsong, 13th c.

8. Soldiers of Christ Arise (Silver Street) (Ch. 10)

9. Songs of Praise the Angels Sing (Riley) (Ch. 12)
Words: James Montgomery, 1819
Music: Martin Shaw, 1915

10. The King of Love My Shepherd Is (St. Columba) (Ch. 1)

11. There Is a Land of Pure Delight (Capel) (Ch. 11)
Music: Traditional English Melody
Arr. Ralph Vaughn Williams, 1906
Text: Isaac Watts, 1709

12. Who Would True Valor See (Monks Gate) (Ch. 10)
Music: Sussex Folk Song
Arr. Ralph Vaughn Williams, 1906
Text: John Bunyan [1628-1688]

13. O God of Earth and Altar (King’s Lynn) (Ch. 9)
Music: Traditional English Melody
Arr. Ralph Vaughn Williams, 1906
Text: Gilbert Keith Chesterton, 1906

14. Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven (Lauda Anima) (Ch. 12)
Music: John Goss, 1868
Text: Henry Francis Lyte, 1834
Descant by Rev. Scott A. Haynes, S.J.C., 2016

15. Nearer, My God, to Thee (Horbury) (Ch. 11)
Text: Sarah Flower Adams, 1841
Music: John Bacchus Dykes, 1861

16. Christian, Dost Thou See Them (St. Andrew of Crete) (Ch. 10)
Text: [cid:ii_15792fd647341cc6]
Music: John B. Dykes, 1868

17. Jesus, Lover of My Soul (Aberystwyth) (Ch. 9)
Text: Charles Wesley, 1738
Tune: Joseph Parry, 1876

18. What Star Is This? (Puer Nobis)


Professor Anthony Esolen holds a Doctorate in Renaissance English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Professor of English at Providence College, located in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the translator of the celebrated three-volume Modern Library edition of Dante s Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a Senior Editor for Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, and his articles appear regularly in First ThingsCatholic World ReportMagnificatThis Rock, and Latin Mass.

Real Music CD:
Musicians: St. Cecilia Choir, St. John Cantius Church, Chicago 
Director: Rev. Scott A. Haynes, S.J.C. Organist: Walter Whitehouse
Audio Engineer and Producer: Mark Essick Musical Advisor: Terry Sullivan