There are a number of Czech versions of this wonderful work by Jakub Jan Ryba. I think this is the best performance of those available. The recording is clear. The symphony is well-recorded in the background, and the vocals are pronounced and easy to comprehend. It is a delight to hear this performed by native Czech operatic performers. Ryba composed the Missa in his native Czech, and it is one of the brightest gems in the long history of Czech music and culture.
In 1796 Ryba wrote this "missa" which continues to be his most belovèd and most often performed work. It is still performed almost everywhere in the Czech Republic for Christmas, and is popular in many other countries and cultures around the world (especially in Europe).
Ryba titled this light operatic work "Missa solemnis Festis Nativitatis D. J. Ch. accommodata in linguam bohemicum musicam." [Solemn Christmas Mass in the Bohemian language.] However, it is not a mass in the truest sense. It is more in the nature of a cantata. It is a work Mozart may have composed for the Saturday Night Opera in Prague or Vienna. It is about a man who travels to Bethlehem and is with the Holy Family at the birth of Christ. It takes place in an Eighteenth century Czech setting.
Ryba was a prominent composer in Bohemia, but, earned his living as the master of a school in Rozmitál pod Třemsínem.
Although the school prospered under his guidance, he was in constant disfavor with the local pastor and city council about the poor repair of the school facilities. Tragically, because he could not support himself on the starvation wages of a school superintendent, Ryba committed suicide on April 8, 1815.
Other versions available include: Czech Christmas Mass Jakub Jan Ryba: Czech Christmas Mass - Christmas Carols Czech Christmas Mass