Sunday, January 1, 2017

Czech Republic: Jakub Jan Ryba

The Czech Republic issued this stamp in 2015, honoring Jakub Jan Ryba (1765-1815). He spent most of his career teaching music and composing. His most famous composition is a Christmas cantata which is still performed in Bohemia. Using the clue "Rozmital" in the Wikipedia source I have been able to track down a little information about the organ shown. The Church of the Holy Cross in "Old Rozmital" seems to be the locale. It is part of a small group of churches including the other where Ryba was employed, in Nepomuk. The organ shown on the parish website seems to match. Some plowing through Czech websites on the organ (varhany) revealed this information about the instrument: I found a bit of information here, including the original (?) specification from 1751. I have not had a chance to explore other Czech resources yet. The church website devotes quite a bit of space to Ryba and some history of the organ. Reading a translation of the website gives some hint of the information available, but organ jargon doesn't translate well! The site suggests that about 75% of the original Martin Palecek instrument (from 1750-1751) remains to this day.

I have a mint copy and a postally used copy of the stamp. I also have a first day of issue cover for the stamp. The cancellation seems to have Ryba's signature included. The cachet shows a line drawing of the exterior of the Holy Cross church and the keydesk of the organ. The FDC is dated 14 October 2015 which is the date for neither Ryba's birth nor death. 

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