Ján [Johannes] Šimbracký [Schimbracki, Schimrag, Schimrack, Schimrak] was a Slovak composer and organist. In 1630 he bought a house in Spišské Podhradie and from 1637 until his death he was a member of the town’s municipal council. His compositions were copied and performed in many places in Slovakia; one of them, Gott stehet in der Gemeine Gottes, was used as incidental music to a play by Peter Eisenberg, Ein zwiefacher poetischer Act, performed in Prešov in 1651.
The main source of Šimbracký works are two manuscripts in tablature (SK-L 3 A and 4 A, olim 13 992 and 13 994) in the hand of thomas Gosler, town clerk of Kežmarok and a composer in his own right. Šimbracký’s extant works number 54; 42 survive in tablature scores and 12 in an incomplete set of partbooks. His settings of Latin and German sacred texts show him to be a master of the older Franco-Flemish polyphony as well as of modern polychoral techniques. In cori spezzati works he employed contrasts between differently composed choirs and alternated contrapuntal and chordal passages; a prominent role is played by antiphonal exchanges of homophonic declamations. The motets exemplify contrasts of metre, timbre and dynamics, and the sacred concertos more sophisticated contrasts of solo and tutti (refrain) passages as well as alternations of a cappella and instrumentally accompanied writing. Šimbracký’s style is balanced between the ancient church modes and the major-minor system. His melodies make use of a wide range of Baroque figures, but chromaticism appears only sparingly.