This is such fun music that even the Communist regime in Czechslovakia encouraged its performance. Composers such as Ryba and Pascha embellished the Christmas Mass with folk music, effectively overwriting the Latin text in the process. These performances bring out all the joy of the music and they sound well in download format. If you want the lossless flac version and can’t wait for this to be available from the Naxos home site, classicsonline.com (it’s promised soon), you’ll need to turn to passionato.com.
The Czech composer, Jakob Jan Ryba, contemporary with Mozart, wrote these Christmas Masses—one long, one short—as seasonal cantatas. With only token references to the liturgy, obvious enough in the Gloria, they relate the story of the shepherds visiting the baby Jesus to the various sections of the Mass. Understandably, with their simple folk-like tunes and harmonies, they have long been part of traditional Czech celebrations at Christmas, and they here receive winningly fresh and direct performances, atmospherically recorded.