Although both Debussy and Koechlin had a great love for the cello, neither composer wrote much music for the instrument. They belong to different musical worlds: Debussy's has the neoclassical background of his later works as "musicien français", whilst Koechlin's shows how gentle and ethereal advanced polytonality could be.
Koechlin's growing interest in modality in the early 1930s led to his Vingt Chansons bretonnes, which he also orchestrated in 1934. They mark his first deliberate use of folksong and he chose extracts from the Barzaz Breiz (Poetic Treasury of Brittany) that was compiled by Vicomte Hersart de la Villemarqué and first published in 1839. The Chansons bretonnes reveal Koechlin's harmonic style at its purest and most restrained. Far from the complex world of his symphonic poems these little works - this first complete recording of the cycle - reveals works of unusual brevity, beauty and concision.