Samuel Goldenberg und Shmuyle

As is described in the well known musical "A Fiddler on the Roof (Anatevka)", the Russian Empire brought a lot of difficulties to the Jews living there at that era. Moussorgsky was not Jewish but the symbol of "David's Star" was carved on his tomb stone. It seems to be the indication of his sympathy to the Jews: the true nature of the Russians should consist of tenderness, of perseverance (envying no other persons in the coldest land), and of the strength. The political circumstance be worst.

This kind of philosophy can be seen not only in this piece but also throughout in this suite, and in his whole works as well as in his life.

The pictures were drawn in Sandmil in Poland. Ikuma Dan explains that

"The two Jews are still in the pictures whereas in the music the poor was looling upwards complaining something to the rich, who refuses absolutely. The composer described two pictures in one piece and succeeded to get the Jews to talk each other. I am impressed by the idea of Moussorgsky. This piece implies that he did not necessarily stick to the pictures he had seen when he composed."

Namely I understand that Dan surely believes the story of "Bydlo": no picture of the cow cart existed but a picture of guillotin did which was symbolized by the cow with a heavy load as oppressed Polish people.