Jakub Šimon Jan Ryba, without any doubts, belong to the most famous Czech cantors and at the same time he is seen (rather unjustly) almost always as an author of a single piece, although commonly known and popular.
Ryba's life story was far from idylic. He was born at the times of the growth of church music, however, at the same time as a result of reforms of emperors Maria Theresa and Joseph II, many important church musical insitutions had been dismissed, many monasteries had been closed down and music production during church services had been reduced. Music was Ryba's main interest and during his studies at Prague gymnasium he devoted most of the time to music. He copied compositions of his contemporaries, he composed, he played violin and violoncello in a string quartet, he was an organist at Saint Salvator church in Klementinum and he regularly attended opera and oratorio performances.
Under the pressure of his family, though, he dropped out of school. In 1785 and 1785 he went through a training for teachers and in 1788 he became a cantor in Rožmitál, where he worked until his death. However, having kept in touch with important contemporaries in Prague, Vienna and Pilsen (the city declared him a honorary citizen), his curiosity, diligence and continuous self-education enabled him to stay in touch with contemporary music events. On the other hand, his short temper, good education and sometimes vain effort to encourage musical life in his region caused many disagreements with his superiors that were not eased by repeated recognition of his pedagogical work.
Under the influence of depressions, strenghtened apparently by a chronic disease and also under the influence of Seneca philosophy Ryba 8. 4. 1815 decided (despite harmonic family relationships) to také his own life.
Titles for sale:
Czech Christmas Mass
Czech Christmas Mass (parts)
Czech Christmas Mass / chamber version
Czech Christmas Mass / piano score