The Prague music historian Tomislav Volek chose to devote his scientific career in the time of communist rule above all to archival research, with special emphasis on materials of the 18th century. Along with the written and musical sources that he discussed in many studies, he was intensly busy with iconographic documents of music history and published among other things a History of Czech Music in Pictures (1977).
The present third volume of the series Summa Summarum presents a representative cross-section of Volek’s source studies and publications in the form of 52 essays, of which 23 were specially translated. The studies begin with the specific Prague tradition of Italian opera that began in 1724, and with its significance for the emergence of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and La clemenza di Tito. Mozart’s work formed the center of Volek’s research, as also of the present volume. There are studies of musical life in the Kingdom of Bohemia: of musicians, music societies and musical centers, for example in the palace chapels of the nobility, or on a production of Beethoven’s nearly complete Eroica in 1804 in the Lobkowitz Palace in Vienna.
As a prologue a work by the well-known Czech musicologist Vladimír Helfert (1886–1945) has been included, which has hitherto received little notice in Don Juan research and is here published in German translation.
Tomislav Volek was born in 1931 and studied musicology and history in Prague. During his academic career under communist rule he engaged in comprehensive research on music in Bohemia in the 18th century and especially on the life and work of Mozart. Since 1989 Volek has been chairperson of the Mozart Association in the Czech Republic.