Spotlight On: Cattle (Bydlo)
Stasov's comment: "A Polish cart on enormous wheels, drawn by oxen."
Another movement in the now-familiar G# minor, this arrangement differs from Mussorgsky's original piano version in that, instead of beginning fortissimo - suggesting that the oxcart begins in the listener's foreground, it begins quietly and gradually builds to fortissimo, then fades. This suggests the movement starts with the oxcart approaching, passing the listener, then receding. This movement is, fundamentally, a work song.
The Hartmann painting which accompanies this movement has been lost. Above we see a version by Van Gogh which typifies the sort of oxcart imagined by the artists.
Attend our performance of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, June 10, 2017 at Northshore Performing Arts Center.