When exactly the pastoral mass of Jakub Jan Ryba (1765-1815) became the symbol of Czech Christmas is possible to determine only approximately. We know exactly, however, why this work holds such a special place: it has a moving pastoral mood with a certain dose of tasteful naiveté which comes into beautiful harmony with Czech folk nativity scenes. And Ryba's mass, known by the first words "Hey, master," resounds today from hundreds of church choirs and magically conjures up for the listeners the idyll of old-world Christmas with an illuminated country church with snow-drifts and a frozen starry horizon. There are many recordings which capture the idyllic atmosphere of central-European Christmas as presented by Ryba. However, only few of them can boastsuch tasteful professionalism and pastoral poetics as this one with the conductor Smetáček, whose sonically reconstructed version we are presenting in a new graphical design. This recording will certainly become a indispensable part of your family's Christmas ritual.
Jakub Jan Ryba
Czech Christmas Mass for soloists, choir, organ and orchestra