Debussy was seriously ill at the outbreak of World War I, and struggled to compose. A wartime performance of the Saint-Saëns Septet prompted the composer to consider writing chamber music for the first time since his string quartet of 1893. The plan was for a sequence of six sonatas for diverse instruments, harking back to the 18th century practice in France. He viewed these works as a memorial to the young French soldiers killed in the trenches. The Cello Sonata was premiered in Paris in 1916 by a young infantryman on a cello made from an ammunition box and an old door. His health declining further, the Violin Sonata turned out to be his last work. The final three sonatas were never composed. This album concludes with three rarely heard piano pieces completed by Robert Orledge including the world premiere recording of A Night in the House of Usher.