György Sándor : Volume Number One : Rarely seen 1950s Budapest street photography shot by a Hungarian classical pianist. A scratchy symphony of composition and poise in turbulent times.

György Sándor (1912 – 2005),
Hungarian concert pianist, writer
(and photographer).

A unique and rare glimpse at Budapest as seen through the lens of the Hungarian concert pianist and writer, György Sándor (1912 – 2005). In the classical world, Sándor was up there. He recorded piano works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Schumann amongst others; he toured the world, playing at New York’s Carnegie Hall and was friends with, and mentored by the legendary composer Béla Bartók; he married the divorced wife of the Archduke Karl Pius of Austria, Prince of Tuscany: and he wrote a book, “On Piano Playing: Motion, Sound, Expression”.

Sándor was apparently a keen amateur photographer. The Fővárosi Szabó Ervin Library in Budapest recently found and donated 500 previously unseen photographs to a Hungarian public archive for found photography. Captured in and around Budapest, these images date from the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 to 1959. He covered funerals, shows us bullet ridden buildings and the nation’s capital rebuilding, getting back on it’s feet once more.

Resurrection. Sándor recognised a grand theme playing out when he saw one.

Sándor was once asked what differentiates a great work. “The time is the factor.” Explained Sándor,” The difference between popular music and what we call “classical music” is not that one is better, not at all!  Popular music lasts much, much less time!  You need change. Every few months or every few weeks or every year, you have to have a new melody. The melody or the handling of the music is not the same as what we call “classical music,” where every note is important. Popular music is mostly improvisatory. Classical music is improvisatory too, but within certain limitations. The structure of the music is very clear, and within that you can change your moods.”

He seems to have taken this approach, this philosophy, and applied it to his personal photography. Take your time. Listen to the his images.

After all, as György says, “every note is important.”

This is Volume Number Two. Volume Number One is here.

Credits : Fortepan / FSZEK Budapest Gyűjtemény / Sándor György. Interview with György Sándor by Bruce Duffie, February, 1990, Wikipedia.

Béla Somogyi (Rökk Szilárd) opp. Blaha Lujza Square and National Theater, Corvin Department Store at left.
Undated stereo photograph, c. 1958.
Miklós utca, bus terminus at Flórián tér. 1959.
Béla Somogyi (Rökk Szilárd) street 6, the Corvin Department Store on the left.Undated stereo photograph, c. 1958.
Rákóczi út 27, Vas utca on the right. 1959.
School furniture factory, Geduly utca 1-3. 1957.
Bécsi utca 2 at the corner of Kristóf tér. 1957
Ponty utca 3., Aquarium at János Hunfalvy Girls’ Grammar School (today János Hunfalvy
Technical School of Bilingual Languages). 1958.
Untitled, 1957.
Oradea Square, bus terminal. 1959.
Untitled. 1958.
Rákóczi út 21, Uránia cinema. Exhibition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the nationalization of the film industry. 1958.
Untitled. 1959.
Actress Mari Törőcsik in the lead role of the film Sweet Anna, directed by Zoltán Fábri, walking downCarpet Street, the old door behind her is at 8 Pala Street. 1958
Untitled. 1958.
View from the south tower of the scaffolded Downtown Church towards Szabad press road and Ferenciek tere. c.1958.
View from the south tower of downtown church being repaired toward Buda Castle and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. 1958.
Loudspeakers. 1957.
Elizabeth Boulevard No. 27 shop window, opposite House No. 30.1958
Shop window at 10-12, József körút. 1958
Dózsa tennis stadium at Margit Islands park.
Teams of volunteer firefighters practice before a show. 1958.
Untitled. 1960.
Man inspects a detail of the Feszty panorama (Árpád Feszty- The Entry of the Hungarians). c. 1958.
Dessewffy utca 41,
the workshop of shoemaker István Gyenes. c. 1958.
Untitled. 1959.
Bécsi utca 3-5. Costume – Folk Dance Costume Making And Rental Company. c. 1958.
Bajnok utca in front of the house number 31, opposite Podmaniczky (Rudas László) utca
and the Ferdinánd (Edge Worker) bridge exit. c. 1958.
Csaba utca 3., corner of Krisztina körút. 1957
The orientalist, writer and painter, Ervin Baktay. 1958.
Corvin (Kisfaludy) köz, Corvin cinema.1957.
Heroes’ Square with the Ice Rink building on the left & the Art Gallery on the right. 1959.
Untitled. 1961.
Untitled. 1961.
Untitled. 1958.
Elizabeth Square (Engels). Undated, c. 1958.
Erzsébet (Lenin) körút 14., Budapest State Hairdresser’s No. 30. shop.
Infrared hair dryer cover, invention of Miklós Glavina. 1959.
Untitled. 1960.
Seregély utca 2, the 2nd Post office at the train station. 1960.
Goldmann György tér and surroundings at the Buda end of Petőfi Bridge,
opposite the Technical University, Gellért Hillin the background, 1960.
Holy Trinity Square, playground under Tárnok Street. View from the parapet of the eastern castle wall towards the Kossuth Bridge and the Parliament. 1960.

This is Volume Number Two.

Volume Number One is here.

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