French composer born 29 May 1955 in Nancy.
Pascal Dusapin was born in France in 1955. He studied visual arts, science, art, and aesthetics at the Université de Paris-Sorbonne. Between 1974 and 1978, he participated in the seminars of Iannis Xenakis. From 1981 to 1983, he was a resident at the Villa Medicis in Rome.
From the beginning of his career as a composer he received numerous awards and honors including the SACEM’s Prix Symphonique in 1994, the Grand Prix National de Musique from the French Ministry of Culture in 1995, and the Grand Prix of the City of Paris in 1998. He won a “Victoire de la Musique” in 1998 for an album recorded with the Orchestre national de Lyon, and was named Composer of the Year at the same awards in 2002. In 2005, he was awarded the Cino del Duca Prize by the Académie des Beaux-arts. He is a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres and was elected to the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste in July 2006.
In 2006-2007 he was appointed to the Création artistique chair of the Collège de France. In 2007, he won the Dan David Prize with Zubin Metha for contemporary music (the Dan David Prize is an international award for scientific and artistic achievement) In 2014, he was named Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur.
He has composed numerous pieces for soloists, chamber ensembles, large orchestras, and operas. The autumn of 2002 saw the premieres of his A quia, a concerto for piano and orchestra (commissioned by the Bonn Beethoven Fest) and the complete cycle of his Sept études for piano.
He is the author of seven quartets, including Quatuor V, a commission from the Muziekgebouw aan’t Ij, the Berliner Philharmoniker, and the Cité de la Musique that premiered in 2005 at the Concertgebouw d’Amsterdam in a performance by the Arditti Quartet; Quatuor VI, Hinterland, hapax, a quatuor concertant with orchestra that premiered in Lucerne in April 2010; and Quatuor VII “Open Time”, which also premiered in a performance by the Arditti Quartet in 2010.
For orchestra, he has composed a cycle of seven “solos” culminating in Uncut (2008-2009); more recently, he composed a new cycle in the form of a tryptich that opens with Morning in Long Island, Concert n° 1 for Large Orchestra with three concertante brass parts, which premiered in 2011 in a performance by the Orchestre de Radio France, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.
His catalogue also counts many operas, including Roméo & Juliette, which premiered in 1989 at the Opéra de Montpellier; Medeamaterial, which premiered in 1992 at the Opéra de la Monnaie in Brussels; To be sung which premiered in 1994 at the Théâtre des Amandiers in Nanterre. These were followed by a commission from the Opéra national de Paris, which resulted in Perelà, uomo di fumo, which premiered at the Opéra de la Bastille in 2003. Faustus, The Last Night (2003-2004), commissioned by the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, received the prize for best premiere of 2007 at the Victoires de la Musique and a Prix Choc from the magazine Monde de la musique for the DVD recording. Perelà, uomo di fumo and Faustus, The Last Night were both directed by Peter Mussbach. The Festival of Aix en Provence commissioned Passion, which premiered in 2008, with a libretto based on the legend of Orpheus written by the composer himself. In 2011, at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, O’Mensch, a cycle of lieder based on Nietzsche’s poetry, directed by the composer in a performance by his faithful collaborators Georg Nigl and Vanessa Wagner. In Octobre 2014, for the Donaueschingen Festival, he designed a visual and sound installation titled “Mille Plateaux,” which then traveled to venues including Lieu Unique in Nantes in 2015. In 2015, Dusapin’s opera Penthesilea, after Heinrich von Kleist, premiered at the Théâtre de La Monnaie in Brussels.
In 2019, Pascal Dusapin presented Lullaby Experience, his first work in collaboration with the IRCAM, at ManiFeste. The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, commissioned him to write a work, premiered 11 November 2020, for the ceremony of Maurice Genevoix’s induction into the Panthéon. In February 2021, he was headline composer at the Radio France festival Présences.
Pascal Dusapin is published by Les Éditions Salabert (Universal Music Publishing France) and primarily recorded on the Naïve/Classic label.
© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2019
By Jacques Amblard
Three periods, or styles, can be identified in Pascal Dusapin’s compositions. The first, which we might call his “youth,” extends into the late 1980s, and is “more melodic than harmonic”. Even then, his work manifested an implicit break with spectralism, the stylistic school dominant in France during the 1970s (developed, for the most part, by Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail with the Ensemble L’Itinéraire), in that the spectralist style could be described as “essentially harmonic”, as it was dependent on the spectrum (“harmony”, or at the very least the vertical aggregate) of a given timbre. By contrast, in even Dusapin’s earliest pieces, relationships among parts were organized above all through imitation. This revealed an atonal counterpoint made up of “superimposed horizontalities” more than it did any interest in vertical textures, aggregates, or specific chords. In a way, Dusapin’s writing was “engendered by the line” (as is the case, to give a representative example, in heterophony). This generative line, in his early period, was still marked by the influence of Xenakis, and was thus constantly interrupted by violent trills and tremolos. More than that, even when instrumental, this generative line was strongly constrained by the vocal, and for this reason, often appeared conjunct, drawing on multitudes of micro-intervals (which are therefore not used as they are in spectral music, where they are the measure of absolute harmonic precision, whereas for Dusapin, to the contrary, they function in service of vocal imprecision, translating “archaic” or at least “spontaneous” song). Dusapin’s lines appear to be translating an archaic, rudimentary melopoeia, whose accents the composer no doubt controlled with his own voice well before they became composition. This decidedly “carnal” vocal quality was perhaps the hallmark of Dusapin’s first successes, and indeed critics – not to mention Iannis Xenakis himself — frequently described his music as “sensual.”
Sensual, perhaps; essentially vocal, certainly. This vocal quality is likely what inspired Dusapin, quite naturally, from 1982 to the present, to compose a significant number of major dramatic pieces, including vocal ones (operas, oratorios, and an “operatorio”). These works often brought him wide success, such as Niobé (1982), Roméo & Juliette (1985-1988), Medeamaterial (1991), La Melancholia (1991), To be sung (1993), Perelà (2001), Faustus (2003-2004), and Passion, the latter of which premiered at the Festival d’Art Lyrique in Aix-en-Provence in 2008. Consistently, the vocal/archaic style of his early period (which one hears in the Niobé oratorio) imposes certain decisions on Dusapin that in retrospect might seem somewhat drastic: to imitate the human voice, he needed instruments capable of glissando and of micro-intervals, meaning that for many years Dusapin avoided writing for the piano. His early work thus reaffirmed the dictum of Varèse, his second major influence: “let us forget the piano”. In this first style, conjunct, even sliding instrumental lines, written in micro-intervals, often repetitive, created the “incantatory” character that Boulez had identified in Varèse’s Intégrales.
Dusapin’s “second style” emerged at the very end of the 1980s, possibly during the composition of the opera Roméo & Juliette, which includes a vocal quartet, Red Rock, in which the four vocalists are squeezed into the same fifth, and requires them to use the same four pitches (C-D-F-G) for an unusually long time, in musical terms. With that, the second period in his compositional life began. His style became more economical, stripped of a certain youthful mannerism, less “agitated” (with less emphasis on the forte dynamic, perhaps), and he had, for the most part, done away with the use of micro-intervals. Above all, in this second period, he employed extremely narrow ranges (around a fifth), and, within that, short scales with few degrees (generally between 2 and 5, with around half of these scales being tetratonic).
The vocal constraint of the line, beyond the continuity that marked his first period, remained in his second period in the form of repetitiveness and even enclosure within a narrow frequency. The line, meanwhile, has imposed on it the restrained ambitus characteristic of ancient song, or even of speech intonations, giving rise to what might be called Dusapin’s “intonationism.” Indeed, the archetype of four degrees squeezed into a fifth precisely recalls the model for intonation theorized by the linguist Pierre Léon. During the first two minutes of the finale of Celo (1996), the solo cello articulates more than 200 notes within the fifth (G#– D) and on the tetratonic scale (G#-B-C-D). In addition to working with such short scales and with even more drastically reduced ranges, the trombone solo in Watt (1994) – which, according to many other composers, notably Henri Dutilleux, is Dusapin’s masterpiece – finds its archaic vocal quality and perhaps its “speech” in the use of other specific procedures: the slide makes a “vocal” glissando, a constant “megaphone”; certain multiphonic sounds give the impression of wailing, and seem to achieve the grain of the voice Barthes spoke of in his eponymous work; the wa-wa mute appears to resemble the way diphthongs are pronounced (ˈwɑːwɑː). The trombone’s brazen instrumental intonationism can already be heard in Indeed (1987), for solo trombone; indeed, as is likely the case for most composers, Dusapin seems to have used his many small chamber pieces, including some twenty solo pieces, as little laboratories for future larger-scale orchestral or dramatic works. The vocal quality of Watt reaches its zenith when the soloist, in the middle of the piece, using a modern instrumental technique (likely first used by Globokar in Fluide in 1967), succeeds in singing through the instrument, creating an archaic melopoeia (using a tetratonic scale squeezed into a fifth, an archetype of which Dusapin, as we have seen, is quite fond).
Go, written in 1990, was the first in a series of seven “solos for orchestra”. Here, again, Dusapin’s voice seems, metaphorically, to be the soloist implied by the subtitle – a voice that has been “augmented” by the orchestra.
It was in Go that Dusapin employed a pet phrase of his for the first time, “restrained modal”, as well as what might be called short “Go scales” of peculiar form: composed of four degrees, often squeezed into a fifth – once again, the model described above – but also and above all scales that include a “relative gap” between the 2nd and 3rd degree (as, for example, in the scale A-B-flat-D-E, as well as in the scale C-D-F-G) of Red Rock, mentioned above). This was probably a way of differentiating them from Greek tetrachords (which seek a relative equidistance between degrees) used in tonal – or let us say modal – music since the Middle Ages, making them too heavily connoted.
These short “Go scales” are characteristically deployed in the form of collective fake collective improvisation. As was already the case in Ligeti’s Lontano (1967) or even in Lux aeterna (1966) and then O King, excerpted from Berio’s Sinfonia (1968), an initial degree is put forward by one member of the orchestra, which is then imitated by the others, some of whom then put forward a new degree, which is then imitated by the others, etc. In this way, the entire scale is revealed little by little, in what appears to be the slow awakening of the ensemble. This kind of fake collective improvisation is used in Coda (1992), and then at the beginning of his third quartet (1993), as well as in the third movement of Celo (1996), Trio Rombach (1997), and the Sanctus of the Dona eis (1998) “requiem”.
Extenso (1994), Dusapin’s second “solo for orchestra,” is an excellent illustration of how the composer organizes his forms at a larger scale. Here, he begins with a faked improvisation, during which the orchestra literally appears to be “slowly learning how to talk,” (like the “stuttering voice of the composer,” which will soon be squeezed into the little Go scale E-F-B-C). The ambitus then follows the motion of expansion suggested by the title, as the orchestra, as we see further on, appears to be “learning to sing.” In most works, such mechanical motions of extension, deformation, or, to the contrary, of reduction, “brakes”, or at least “strong external constraints”, are metaphorically imposed to the initial small scales. These then evolve toward others or explode, functioning as a kind of “discourse” and therefore as “characters” that are mistreated, dramatized, taken up in theatrical meanderings that these constraints represent. These metaphorical constraints are themselves the result of observing other art forms. Dusapin is constantly inspired by these (notably photography and architecture) and indeed by formalism outside of music, for example in mathematics (Benoît Mandelbrot’s fractal theories or René Thom’s morphogenesis fascinate him), or by industrial drawing, to transform these small scales, to free them from their narrow ambitus, to enrich them with degrees or have them slowly modulate toward other, equally restrained melodic scales.
In Extenso, as we have seen, the first twelve measures “speak”. The “spoken improvisation” then ceases in measure 13, and the lines deploy their ambitus as they learn to “no longer speak, but rather to sing”. In this singular work, they are eventually placed in a “note for note” counterpoint, a slow homorhythm in the service of “complete chromaticism”; in other words, one that is incumbent upon each part, one might say, in the style of Wagner. In passing, this homorhythm makes it possible to consider each chord and therefore to approach more harmonic musical conceptions, and the work may owe its success to this rather neo-romantic atmosphere. Here, above all, one notes what would, starting in the 2000s, become the composer’s style in his third period (a “third style” that no doubt resembles an aesthetic return), which emerges as a “lyrical” unfurling after an atonal “intonationist” debut.
In the opera Perelà (2001), Dusapin broadens, if you will, this dialogue between his second and third styles (which might be called “spoken” and “sung), which articulate the form of the work as a whole. The second style is particularly effective when it appears – as it naturally often does – with the trombone (which even appears on stage), his preferred instrument, that harbinger of melodic intonationism. The third style, pleading, also unfolds with Dusapin’s favoured lyrical timbres, strings, which are often languid (and subject to rather slow tempi).
Dusapin’s second style, and with it, his intonationism, appear to have been definitively set aside in the opera that followed, Faustus (2003-2004) – and indeed already in his fifth solo for orchestra, Exeo (2002).The lyrical song of the strings, somewhat weighed down, using old expressive devices (notably simple bowed semi-tones) in a broad ambitus – “traditional instrumentals” – now reign supreme.
The aesthetic of the second, “intonationist” period is perhaps the style most specific to Dusapin. More than once, it recalls the metaphor of the echo. Notably, the word ‘echo’ evokes the voice, and returns us to the world of vocals. The echo also wipes out consonants, leaving behind only vowel sounds – precisely what occurs in intonationism, which reproduces the intonations of speech. Echo, too, is what emerges from the depths (of the cave), reminding us that Dusapin’s second style evokes what has been repressed, the language of earliest childhood – again, intonation. Moreover, the echo is an immediate sonic mirror, occurring “in real time,” and this real time is that of composition using false improvisation, composition using anyone’s intonations, of Dusapin’s own work (in openings using “orchestral awakenings”). The echo is also a sound phenomenon that moves in the opposite direction of the initial sound, and, by the same token, the determinism of Dusapin’s atonal material moves in the opposite direction of the equivalent atonal material in 20th-century music: it is a “yes” (atonality as a positive and precise search for a “naturally” atonal model of the archaic voice) where atonal material is so often displayed as an eternal “no” throughout the 20th century (already anti-tonal for the three Viennese). It thus contains a deliberate gesture and “theatricality”, used openly from the beginning, rather than unintentionally and grudgingly; this in contrast to the perception of gesture in serial music, or to the theatrical in spectral music, which would appear to be parasitic, all in all.
Let us add, in conclusion, that from the extreme aesthetic sophistication achieved by great music with atonalism, the echo pulls us back toward a sound that has been packed with its opposite: the archaic. In this way, two extremes dovetail. What began with Stravinsky and Varèse (the paradoxically cultivated and refined exaltation of the unrefined and the violent) is completed by Dusapin, the self-taught “barbarian musician”, who ingeniously picks up the thread of music history, something made possible by this equivalence of extremes. Just as Schoenberg and then, above all, Boulez were seeking something well beyond tonality, Dusapin appeared at an equal and opposite moment in music history – well short of tonality. Despite what was imagined in the utopias of early 20th-century thought, the world of art does not turn out to be an endless straight line, time’s arrow, whose abstraction might well extend out into infinity. Rather, it appears as centered, limited, a universe balanced around certain invariables. “In the end, the invariable we find in all human activity is humans themselves, it is the mind”. To this we might add that the invariable in all human sonic activity is the voice. The echo, acting as a filter, retains only the simplified blueprints of 20th-century complexity. It returns nothing but the “result”: the sound, stripped of concepts, the “images” that underlie scores or scientific models. It has thus been delivered, not only from the visual logic of the score, specific to serial music, but also from the “numbing” scientism of spectral and post-spectral music. It seems, in this way, to confirm the hypothesis of Danielle Cohen-Lévinas: “The history of music may well be […] a history of writing that borrows the breath of life from the voice”.
© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2008
- Solo (excluding voice)
- Inside for viola (1980), 11 mn, Salabert
- Incisa for cello (1982), 8 mn, Salabert [program note]
- If for clarinet (1984), 5 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Item for cello (1985), 8 mn, Salabert
- Itou for bass clarinet (1985), 6 mn, Salabert
- Ici for flute (1986), 8 mn, Salabert
- Indeed for trombone (1987), 10 mn, Salabert
- Iti for violin (1987), 5 mn, Salabert
- I Pesci for flute (1989), 10 mn, Salabert
- In & Out for double bass (1989), 11 mn, Salabert
- Invece for cello (1991), 7 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Ipso for clarinet (1994), 11 mn, Salabert
- Immer for solo cello (1996), 15 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Étude pour piano n° 1 « Origami » (1998-1999), 10 mn, Salabert
- Étude pour piano n° 2 « Igra » (1999), 6 mn, Salabert
- Étude pour piano n° 3 « Tangram » (1999), 8 mn, Salabert
- Étude pour piano n° 4 « Mikado » (1998-1999), 5 mn, Salabert
- Étude pour piano n° 5 (2000), 9 mn, Salabert
- In nomine for viola (2000), 20 mn, Salabert
- Étude pour piano n° 6 (2001), 5 mn, Salabert
- Étude pour piano n° 7 (2001), 8 mn, Salabert
- Sept études pour piano (1999-2001), Salabert
- Imago three pieces to (fake) popular songs for solo cello (2004), 15 mn, Salabert
- Memory for organ (2008), 13 mn
- In vivo for violin (2014), 17 mn, Salabert
- Did it again for piano (2016), Salabert
- Next piece for piano (2016), 5 mn, Salabert
- Chamber music
- Musique fugitive string trio n°1 (1980), 8 mn, Salabert [program note]
- stage Trois Instantanés stage music for two clarinets and three cellos (1980), 5 mn, Salabert
- Quatuor à cordes n° 1 (1983, 1992-1996), between 13 mn and 15 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Poco a poco educational piece for six instrumentalists (1986), 6 mn, Salabert
- Laps for clarinet and double bass (1987), 10 mn, Salabert
- Sly eight pieces for trombone quartet, for a ballet by Dominique Bagouet (1987), 12 mn, Salabert
- stage Neuf Musiques pour « Le Fusil de chasse » stage music for clarinet, trombone and cello (1989), 12 mn, Inédit
- Time Zones String quartet n ° 2 (1989), 38 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Attacca for two trumpets in C and timpani (1991), 6 mn, Salabert
- Stanze Dyad for brass quintet (1991), 10 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Ohimé hommage à Besty Jolas, for violin and viola (1992), 11 mn, Salabert
- Quatuor à cordes n° 3 (1993), 20 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Laps for clarinet and cello (1987-1995), 10 mn, Salabert
- Loop for two cello quartets (1995), 13 mn, Salabert
- Ohé for clarinet and cello (1996), 8 mn, Salabert
- Quatuor à cordes n° 4 (1997), 25 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Trio Rombach for piano, violin or clarinet and cello (1997), 18 mn, Salabert
- Quatuor à cordes n° 5 (2004-2005), 17 mn, Salabert
- Quatuor VII "Open Time" twenty-one variations for string quartet (2009), 42 mn, Salabert
- Microgrammes, sept pièces pour trio à cordes for violin, viola, cello (2010), 18 mn, Salabert
- DUO à 2 for clarinet and bass clarinet (2012), 2 mn, Salabert
- By the Way for clarinet and piano (2014), 10 mn, Salabert
- Slackline for cello and piano (2015), 20 mn, Salabert
- Forma fluens for violin and piano (2018), Salabert
- Instrumental ensemble music
- Souvenir du silence for thirteen strings soloists (1976), 8 mn, Salabert
- Le Bal music for Line (1978), 10 mn, Jobert [program note]
- Timée (1978), 15 mn, Jobert
- La Rivière for orchestra (1979), 11 mn, Salabert
- Musique captive for nine wind instruments (1980), 3 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Fist for eight instrumentalists (1982), 8 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Tre Scalini for large orchestra (1981-1982), 13 mn, Salabert
- Hop' for four groups of three instrumentalists (1983-1984), 11 mn, Salabert [program note]
- La Conversation Ten-piece suite for eight instrumentalists (1984), 30 mn, Salabert
- Assaï for orchestra (1985), 17 mn, Salabert
- stage Treize Pièces pour Flaubert stage music (1985), 30 mn, Inédit
- Haro for orchestra (1986), 38 mn, Salabert
- Coda for thirteen instrumentalists (1992), 12 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Go solo n°1 for orchestra (1992), 10 mn, Salabert
- Khôra version for sixty-string orchestra (1993), 13 mn, Salabert
- Extenso solo n° 2 for orchestra (1993-1994), 12 mn, Salabert
- Apex solo n° 3 for orchestra (1995), 16 mn, Salabert
- Cascando for eight instrumentalists (1997), 10 mn, Salabert
- Khôra version for thirty-string orchestra (1993-1997), 13 mn, Salabert
- Clam solo n° 4 for orchestra (1997-1998), 12 mn, Salabert
- Exeo solo n° 5 for orchestra (2002), 15 mn, Salabert
- Perelà Suite for orchestra (2004), 20 mn, Salabert
- Musique pour un film d'Anne Fontaine music for the film Entre ses mains by Anne Fontaine with Isabelle Carré and Benoît Poelvoorde, for string orchestra (2005), 11 mn, Salabert
- Reverso solo n°6 for orchestra (2005-2006), 18 mn, Salabert
- Uncut solo n ° 7 for orchestra (2008-2009), 11 mn, Salabert
- elec ircam Lullaby Experience stage experience for instrumental ensemble and electronics (2019), 60 mn, Inédit [program note]
- Concert music
- L'Aven for solo flute and orchestra (1980-1981), 9 mn, Salabert
- Aria concert for clarinet and small orchestra (1991), 11 mn, Salabert
- Watt for trombone and orchestra (1994), 17 mn, Salabert
- Celo for cello and orchestra (1996), 20 mn, Salabert
- Quad In memoriam Gilles Deleuze, for violin and fifteen instrumentalists (1996), 19 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Galim Requies plena oblientationis, for flute and string orchestra (1998), 9 mn, Salabert
- A Quia for piano and orchestra (2002), 27 mn, Salabert
- Quatuor VI Hinterland, hapax, for string quartet and orchestra (2009), 23 mn, Salabert
- Morning in Long Island concert n°1 for large orchestra (2010), 33 mn, Salabert
- Aufgang concerto for violin and orchestra (2011), 33 mn, Salabert
- Jetzt Genau! concertino for piano and six instruments (2012), 20 mn, Salabert
- Outscape concerto for cello and orchestra (2015), 28 mn, Salabert
- At Swim-Two-Birds for violin, cello and orchestra (2017), Salabert
- Waves concerto for organ and orchestra (2019), 25 mn, Salabert
- Vocal music and instrument(s)
- Igitur for female voice and thirteen instrumentalists (1977), 13 mn, Salabert
- Lumen for female voice and six instrumentalists (1977), 7 mn, Salabert
- L'Homme aux liens for two sopranos and three violins (1978), 6 mn, Salabert
- Shin'gyo Japanese sutrâ, for soprano and piccolo (1981), 5 mn, Salabert
- Niobé (ou le rocher de Sypile) for soprano, twelve mixed voices and eight instrumentalists (1982), 38 mn, Salabert [program note]
- To God for soprano and clarinet (or soprano saxophone) (1985), 7 mn, Salabert
- Aks for mezzo-soprano and seven instrumentalists (1987), 9 mn, Salabert
- Anacoluthe for female voice, contrabass clarinet and double bass (1987), 9 mn, Salabert
- Mimi for two female voices, oboe, bass clarinet and trombone (1986-1987), 6 mn, Salabert
- Red Rock excerpt n°6 from Romeo and Juliet, for four voices and clarinet (1987), 8 mn, Salabert
- For O. for two female voices and two clarinets (1988), 9 mn, Salabert
- stage Roméo et Juliette opera in nine numbers on a libretto by Olivier Cadiot, for five solo voices, clarinetist, three spoken voices, vocal quartet, choir and orchestra (1985-1988), 1 h 25 mn, Salabert
- So Full of Shapes is Fancy for soprano and bass clarinet (1990), 6 mn, Salabert
- elec stage La Melancholia opératorio, for four vocal soloists, one narrator, twelve mixed voices, three brass instruments, recorded speaking voices and orchestra (1991), 32 mn, Salabert
- stage Medeamaterial opera on a text by Heiner Müller (1991), 60 mn, Salabert
- Comoedia for soprano and six instrumentalists (1993), 10 mn, Salabert
- elec ircam stage To Be Sung chamber opera in forty-three numbers (1992-1993), 1 h 30 mn, Salabert
- Canto for soprano, clarinet and cello (1994), 7 mn, Salabert
- Dona Eis for mixed voices and seven instrumentalists (1998), 20 mn, Salabert
- elec Perelà - Uomo di fumo opera in chapters for eleven main characters, eight supporting roles, mixed choir, orchestra, tape and eleven musicians on stage (2001), 2 h 15 mn, Salabert
- stage Momo musical show for young audiences, for a reciter playing the cymbalum and four instrumentalists (2002), 30 mn, Salabert
- stage Faustus, The Last Night opera in one night and eleven acts (2003-2004), 1 h 30 mn, Salabert
- Ô Berio for soprano and thirteen instrumentalists (2006), 60 s, Salabert
- elec stage Passion opera (2008), 1 h 30 mn, Salabert
- stage O Mensch! (Inventaire raisonné de quelques passions Nietzschéennes) twenty-seven pieces for baritone and piano (2008-2009), 1 h 9 mn 40 s, Salabert
- Beckett's bones for soprano, clarinet in A and piano (2013), 15 mn 30 s, Salabert
- stage Penthesilea opera with prologue, eleven scenes and epilogue (2011-2013), 1 h 30 mn, Salabert
- Disputatio for children's choir, mixed choir, glass harmonica, timpani, percussion and string orchestra (2014), 40 mn, Salabert
- stage Penthesilea d’après Heinrich von Kleist opera with prologue, eleven scenes and epilogue (2014), 1 h 30 mn, Salabert
- stage Wenn du dem Wind... three scenes from the opera Penthesilea after Heinrich von Kleist for soprano and orchestra (2014), 20 mn, Salabert
- Wolken for female voice and piano (2014), 13 mn, Salabert
- stage Macbeth Underworld opera in eight chapters (2019), 1 h 45 mn, Salabert
- A cappella vocal music
- Semino six-part song for Louis on the twenty-eighth fragment of the poem by Parmenides (1985), 5 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Il-Li-Ko romantic piece, for soprano (1987), 6 mn, Salabert
- Two walking five pieces for two female voices (1994), 12 mn, Salabert
- Granum sinapis eight pieces based on texts by Maître Eckhart, for mixed choir (1992-1997), 20 mn, Salabert
- Umbrae mortis for mixed choir (1997), 5 mn, Salabert
- In Nomine Lucis for choir (2020), 35 mn, Salabert
- In Nomine Lucis for choir, 35 mn, Salabert
- Forma fluens for violin and piano, Salabert
- At Swim-Two-Birds for violin, cello and orchestra, Salabert
- By the Way for clarinet and piano, 10 mn, Salabert
- Disputatio for children's choir, mixed choir, glass harmonica, timpani, percussion and string orchestra, 40 mn, Salabert
- In vivo for violin, 17 mn, Salabert
- stage Penthesilea d’après Heinrich von Kleist opera with prologue, eleven scenes and epilogue, 1 h 30 mn, Salabert
- stage Wenn du dem Wind... three scenes from the opera Penthesilea after Heinrich von Kleist for soprano and orchestra, 20 mn, Salabert
- Wolken for female voice and piano, 13 mn, Salabert
- Aufgang concerto for violin and orchestra, 33 mn, Salabert
- stage O Mensch! (Inventaire raisonné de quelques passions Nietzschéennes) twenty-seven pieces for baritone and piano, 1 h 9 mn 40 s, Salabert
- Quatuor VI Hinterland, hapax, for string quartet and orchestra, 23 mn, Salabert
- Quatuor VII "Open Time" twenty-one variations for string quartet, 42 mn, Salabert
- Uncut solo n ° 7 for orchestra , 11 mn, Salabert
- Cascando for eight instrumentalists, 10 mn, Salabert
- Granum sinapis eight pieces based on texts by Maître Eckhart, for mixed choir, 20 mn, Salabert
- Khôra version for thirty-string orchestra, 13 mn, Salabert
- Quatuor à cordes n° 4, 25 mn, Salabert [program note]
- Trio Rombach for piano, violin or clarinet and cello, 18 mn, Salabert
- Umbrae mortis for mixed choir, 5 mn, Salabert
- Aria concert for clarinet and small orchestra, 11 mn, Salabert
- Attacca for two trumpets in C and timpani, 6 mn, Salabert
- Invece for cello, 7 mn, Salabert [program note]
- elec stage La Melancholia opératorio, for four vocal soloists, one narrator, twelve mixed voices, three brass instruments, recorded speaking voices and orchestra, 32 mn, Salabert
- stage Medeamaterial opera on a text by Heiner Müller, 60 mn, Salabert
- Stanze Dyad for brass quintet, 10 mn, Salabert [program note]
- So Full of Shapes is Fancy for soprano and bass clarinet, 6 mn, Salabert
- Aks for mezzo-soprano and seven instrumentalists, 9 mn, Salabert
- Anacoluthe for female voice, contrabass clarinet and double bass, 9 mn, Salabert
- Il-Li-Ko romantic piece, for soprano, 6 mn, Salabert
- Indeed for trombone, 10 mn, Salabert
- Iti for violin, 5 mn, Salabert
- Laps for clarinet and double bass, 10 mn, Salabert
- Mimi for two female voices, oboe, bass clarinet and trombone, 6 mn, Salabert
- Red Rock excerpt n°6 from Romeo and Juliet, for four voices and clarinet, 8 mn, Salabert
- Sly eight pieces for trombone quartet, for a ballet by Dominique Bagouet, 12 mn, Salabert
- Assaï for orchestra, 17 mn, Salabert
- Item for cello, 8 mn, Salabert
- Itou for bass clarinet, 6 mn, Salabert
- Semino six-part song for Louis on the twenty-eighth fragment of the poem by Parmenides, 5 mn, Salabert [program note]
- To God for soprano and clarinet (or soprano saxophone), 7 mn, Salabert
- stage Treize Pièces pour Flaubert stage music, 30 mn, Inédit
- La Rivière for orchestra, 11 mn, Salabert
- Souvenir du silence for thirteen strings soloists, 8 mn, Salabert
- Entretien avec Pascal Dusapin, Thierry Coduis et Jérôme Nika ; Et chantent les nuages ! Et chantent les nuées ! par Jérémie Szpirglas, July 2, 2019
- Jacques AMBLARD, Pascal Dusapin, l’intonation ou le secret, Paris, Musica Falsa, 2002.
- Jacques AMBLARD, Le second style de Dusapin ou l’intonation, Paris, Musica falsa, 2018.
- Jacques AMBLARD, « Dusapin’s Third Style in Faustus, the Last Night », 2019, à lire sur HAL (lien vérifié en septembre 2021).
- Roland BARTHES, Le grain de la voix : entretiens 1962-1980, Paris, Seuil, 1981.
- « Pascal Dusapin » Les cahiers du Cirem n° 12-13, juin -septembre 1989.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Maxime McKINLEY, Imaginer la composition musicale : correspondance et entretiens (2010-2016), Villeneuve-d’Ascq, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, coll. « Littératures », 2017.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Une musique en train de se faire, éditions du Seuil, 2009.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Pierre-Yves MACÉ, « To be sung », Accents, 2009, n° 38, p. 3, en ligne (lien vérifié en septembre 2021).
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Composer. Musique, paradoxes et flux, essai, Paris, éditions Fayard, mars 2007.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Leçons au Collège de France, Paris, Odile Jacob, à paraître.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Olivier CADIOT, Roméo et Juliette, livret et textes, avec la contribution de Philippe Albèra, Michelle Biget, Pierre-Albert Castanet, Madeleine Gagnard, Pierre Caudin, Antoine Gindt, Emmanuel Hocquard, Ivanka Stoïanova, Musica 89, Dernières nouvelles d’Alsace, 1989.
- Olga GARBUZ, Pascal Dusapin : mythe, algorithme, palimpseste, Château-Gontier, Aedam Musicae, coll. « Musiques XXe-XXIe siècle », 2017.
- Marc JIMENEZ*, L’esthétique* contemporaine, Paris, Klincksieck, 1999.
- Jonathan Banks NUSSMAN, « Pascal Dusapin’s O Mensch! — An Investigation in Analysis, Translation, and Interpretation », UC San Diego Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020.
- Ivanka STOÏANOVA, « Pascal Dusapin : Febrile music », Contemporary music review, Harwood Academic Publishers GmbH, 1993, p 183-196.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, « Passion », 1 CD Ensemble Modern Medien, 2020, EMCD-047.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Trio Rombach ; Wolken ; By the Way ; Beckett’s bones, Ensemble Accroche Note, dans « Trio Rombach · Wolken · By the Way · Beckett’s bones », 1 CD Tac / Nowlands, 2020.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, « Penthesilea », Chœurs et Orchestre symphonique de la Monnaie, Franck Ollu : direction, 2 CD Cyprès, 2019, CYP4654.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Quatuor VI “Hinterland” Quatuor VII “Open Time”, Arditti String Quartet, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Pascal Rophé, direction, 1 cd Aeon, 2017.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Incisa ; If ; Item ; Laps ; Invece ; Ipso ; Immer ; Ohé ; Iota ; Imago, Arne Deforce, violoncelle, Benjamin Dieltjens, clarinette, dans « Item », 1 cd Aeon, 2017.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Reverso ; Uncut ; Morning in Long Island, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Myung Whun Chung, direction, 1 cd Deutsche Grammophon, 2014.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Études pour piano, Vanessa Wagner, avec les photographies de Pascal Dusapin et des textes de Michel Onfray, Actes Sud Musicales, 2012.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Sept solos pour orchestre, Orchestre philharmonique de Liège Wallonie Bruxelles, direction : Pascal Rophé, Naïve, 2010, MO782180.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, String Quartets & Trio : Trio (Musique fugitive), Quatuors à cordes n° 1 à 5, Arditti Quartet : Irvine Arditti, Ashot Sarkissjan, Ralf Ehlers, Lucas Fels, 2 cds æon, 2010, AECD0983.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Perelà, Uomo di fumo, Nora Gubisch, mezzo soprano, John Graham-Hall, ténor, Isabelle Philippe, Chantal Perraud, sopranos, chœurs et orchestre national de Montpellier, direction : Alain Altinoglu, 2 cds Montaigne, 2005, MO782168.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, À Quia, coffret comprenant 7 études pour piano, À Quia, concerto pour piano et orchestre, et les discours sur la musique et études n°1 et 4 (voir filmographie), Ian Pace, piano, orchestre de Paris, direction : Christoph Eschenbach, 2 cds, 1 dvd, Naïve, 2004, MO782164.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, René KOERING, Quatre Quatuors, Quatuor Danel, 1 cd Accord, 2004, 476 1919.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, « Concertos »: Watt ; Galim ; Celo, Juliette Hurel : flûte, Alain Trudel : trombone, Sonia Wieder-Atherton : violoncelle, Orchestre national de Montpellier, direction : Pascal Rophé, 1 cd Montaigne - Naïve, 2003, MO782153 (réédition 2010, MO782181)
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Iannis XENAKIS, Œuvres pour flûte, Cécile Daroux, 1 cd Naïve-Montaigne, MO782173.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Comœdia ; Fist ; Aria ; Hop’ ; Aks ; Coda ; Attacca, Armand Angster : clarinette, Ars Nova ensemble, 1 cd Montaigne 2001, MO782150.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Requiem, chœur de chambre Accentus, Ars Nova, Laurence Equilbey, dir., 2000, Montaigne - Naïve, MO782116.
- Henri DUTILLEUX, Pascal DUSAPIN, Ainsi la nuit ; Time Zones ; Quatuor III, Quatuor Arditti, 1 cd Montaigne, 2000, MO782125.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Musiques solistes : Laps ; Itou ; To God ; If ; Indeed ; Mimi ; Il-li-ko ; Anacoluthe ; Canto; Ipso; Two Walking ; Invece ; So Full ; In - Out ; For O, Ensemble Accroche-note : Armand Angster : clarinette et clarinette basse, Jean-Paul Celea : contrebasse, Alain Meunier : violoncelle, Françoise Kuber : soprano, Benny Sluchin : trombone, Marie-Claude Vallin : soprano, René Bellier : hautbois, 2 cds Accord - Una corda, 2001, 461 788-2.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, To be sung, Rosemary Hardy, Susan Narucki, Sarah Leonard, sopranos, Geoffrey Carey, récitant, ensemble Le Banquet, direction : Olivier Dejours, 1 cd MFA-Radio France, 1998, MFA 216126.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, 1. Extenso ; 2. Apex ; 3. La melancholia, Nan Christie, soprano, Cécile Éloir, mezzo-soprano, Timothy Greacen, contre-ténor, Martyn Hille, ténor, chœurs de Lyon - Bernard Tétu, orchestre national de Lyon, direction : Emmanuel Krivine (1, 2), David Robertson (3), 1 cd Audivis - Montaigne, 1997, MO782073, MO782124.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Medeamaterial, Hilde Leidland, Orchestre de la Chapelle Royale, Collegium vocale, direction : Philippe Herreweghe, 1 cd Harmonia Mundi, 1993, HMC905215.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Roméo et Juliette, Cyrille Gerstenhaber, Françoise Kübler : sopranos, Nicholas Isherwood, Julien Combey : basses, Groupe Vocal de France, Orchestre symphonique de Mulhouse, direction : Luca Pfaff, 2 cds Accord-Una Corda, 1991/2003, 472 726-2.
- Pascal DUSAPIN, Faustus, The Last Night, Georg Nigl : Faustus, Urban Malmberg : Méphistophélès, Robert Wörle : Sly, Jaco Huijpen : Togod, Caroline Stein : l’Ange, orchestre de l’Opéra national de Lyon, Johann Stockhammer, dir., Peter Mussbach : mise en scène, Michael Elmgreen et Ingar Dragset : décor, Andréa Schmidt-Futterer : costumes, Sven Hogrefe : lumières, Yvon Gérault : réalisation, Naïve, 2006, MO782177.
- Olivier BELLAMY, Le Journal de la Création, sept entretiens avec Pascal Dusapin, 60’, La Cinquième – Images et Compagnie.
- Michel FOLLIN, Étude pour piano n°1, par Ian Pace, 11’, Mezzo et dvd Naïve MO782164.
- Michel FOLLIN, Étude pour piano n°4, par Ian Pace, 5’30, Mezzo et dvd Naïve MO782164.
- Michel FOLLIN, Quatuor à cordes n°4, discours sur la musique, 1997, 52’, Arte.
- Michel FOLLIN, Discours sur la musique, répétitions et entretiens avec Pascal Dusapin / 7 études pour piano, par Ian Pace, 1999 - 2001, 30’, Mezzo et dvd Naïve MO782164.
- Michel FOLLIN, Discours sur la musique, répétitions et entretiens avec Pascal Dusapin / A Quia, par Ian Pace et l’orchestre de Paris, Christoph Eschenbach, dir., 2002, 29’, Mezzo et dvd Naïve MO782164.
- Michel FOLLIN, L’Être en musique, 2003, 109’, Arte.
- Éditions Durand-Salabert-Eschig (Universal Music Publishing Group) : http://www.durand-salabert-eschig.com
- Pascal Dusapin sur le site du Collège de France : http://www.college-de-france.fr
- Pascal Dusapin dans Les grands entretiens sur France Musique, février 2021, premier épisode ici.
(liens vérifiés en septembre 2021).