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Vigadó Facade: Six Musical Allegories | by Istvan
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Vigadó Facade: Six Musical Allegories

The Vigadó building was opened on the 15th of January, 1865, but almost 40 years has passed and it was not yet completed. That is true for these ornamental sculptures, as well, which were missed by lack of financial means, though Frigyes Feszl originally designed the emplacements for all these sculptures. The plan was to populate these places with sculptures representing allegorical descriptions or impersonalizations of the history & traditions of Hungarian music, since the place always served as a venue for public amusement and as a concert hall. Feszl even outlined the figures on his original design. Eventually, at the beginning of the 1880s a competition was announced with more than 20 participants, and the following sculptors won, from left to right:

 

Syrinx (pan-pipe/pánsíp) - Gyula Donáth

Tybia (double flute) - Ferenc Vasadi

Drum - Gyula Szász

Lyra (lute/lant) - Béla Brestyánszky

Triangulum (triangle/háromszög) - Lajos Muderlak (a.k a. Lajos Mátrai Sr.)

Cymbal (kymbala) - Alajos Stróbl.

 

The sculptures were manufactured during 1882-1883, and were erected at the spring of 1884. All of these artists came from different places with different backgrounds, so it seems to be an enormous achievement to have this series referring to traditional Hungarian instruments in such a unified and complex way. - The story of the indoor sculptures is even more complicated (they were finished for 1901), and since a radical refurbishment of the building going back to the roots is still in progress, I have no photos on them. However, I never saw them in real life: they were not placed on their original spot after the first major refurbishment of the building has been done in the 1970s, when most of the inner ornaments have been replaced by plain artificial marble.

 

Frankly, all of these sculptures were seriously injured or completely destroyed during the siege of Budapest in 1944-45, so all what you see today are heavily refurbished originals or resculpted replicas.

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Taken on May 17, 2008