updated 2 September 2012
© Marco Delogu

Emmanuel Nunes

Portuguese composer born 31 August 1941 in Lisbon; died 2 September 2012 in Paris.

Emmanuel Nunes studied theory and counterpoint with Francine Benoît from 1959 to 1963 at the Lisbon Music Academy, and German and Greek philology at the University of the same city.

From 1963 to 1965, he attended the Darmstadt Summer Courses at which Henri Pousseur and Pierre Boulez were teaching. He settled in Paris in 1964. During this time, he regularly attended the analysis and composition classes of Karlheinz Stockhausen, electronic music classes with Jaap Spek, and phonetics classes with Georg Heike, alongside ongoing study with Pousseur, at the Rheinische Musikhochschule in Cologne. Stockhausen’s analysis of his own work, Momente, was to have a major influence on Nunes’ development as a composer, giving him an awareness of the potential role of technology in examining the relationship between perception and musical discourse. In this sense, Nunes’ predilection for open forms and “organic” aspects of music was founded on his desire to explore connections between sound, durations, and musical structure.

In 1971, Nunes graduated with highest honours in music aesthetics with Marcel Beaufils at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP). He subsequently enrolled in a Doctorate in Musicology, focusing on the work of Anton Webern, at the Sorbonne, with support from the Portuguese Ministry of Education (1973-74) and the Gulbenkian Foundation (1976-77). He was a DAAD composer-in-residence in 1978-79, and was awarded a composition grant from the French Ministry of Culture in 1980.

Starting in 1989, Nunes worked regularly at IRCAM, finding there the tools required to realise the complex spatialisations that he wished to apply to his music. Works such as Es webt (1974-75, revised in 1977), Tif’ereth (1978-85), Wandlungen (1986), and Lichtung I (1990-1991) resulted from research undertaken at the institution. Concretely, he explored varied means of diffusing sound, from having musicians encircle the audience and move around the performance space (as in Quodlibet [1990-91]), to computer-aided approaches to spatialised diffusion.

Nunes’ use of technology to formalise his complex musical grammar was nothing short of virtuosic, creating an interactive counterpoint between score and software.

With the exception of a handful of stand-alone works, Nunes grouped his catalogue into two major “cycles,” each of which is unified by its recurrent use of a piece of musical material. The first cycle, comprising numerous works written between 1973 and 1977, is united by the use of a four-note musical anagram. The second cycle, collectively known as La création and made up of works composed between 1977 and 2007 (starting with Nachtmusik and ending with Lichtung III) is unified by its use of what the composer termed “rhythmic pairs,” which were applied to rhythmic phrasing, time signatures, intervals, or spatialisation.

Emmanuel Nunes was also active as a teacher. First teaching at the University of Pau (France) in 1976, he went on to teach at Harvard, the Darmstadt Summer Courses, and ICONS de Novara in Italy. In 1981, he was named Director of Composition Seminars at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, and from 1986 to 1992 taught composition at the Freiburg Musikhochschule. Finally, he taught composition at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) from 1992 until 2006.

The President of the Portuguese Republic named him a “Comendador da Ordem de Santiago da Espeda” in 1991. He was awarded the UNESCO and Pessoa Prizes, and received a Doctor Honoris Causa from Paris VIII University.

His works were commissioned by the Gulbenkian Foundation, Radio-France and the French Ministry of Culture, among other institutions. His music has been featured at major international new music festivals and widely broadcast on European radio.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2011


  • éditions Jobert.
  • Peter SZENDY (textes réunis par), Emmanuel Nunes, Paris, L’Harmattan / Ircam - Centre Pompidou, coll. « Compositeurs d’aujourd’hui » , 1998.
  • Alain BIOTEAU, “Lichtung I et II” dans le Cd : Lichtung I, Lichtung II, Ensemble Intercontemporain, dir. Jonathan Nott, 2003 Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ircam-Centre Pompidou, Universal Classics France, CD 472 964-2*.*
  • Adriana LATINO, Nunes, Emmanuel, Encyclopédie Grove, Oxford University Press.

By Laurent Feneyrou


Emmanuel Nunes sits between Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Between the rigors of harmony, counterpoint, and form, and between the search for sound’s intrinsic acoustic qualities and the ways melody occupies space, Nunes argued for a conception of the work of art as a living organism. Having attended Henri Pousseur’s seminars on electronics in Darmstadt, he then worked with Stockhausen in Cologne. He also studied Pierre Boulez’s theoretical work Penser la musique aujourd’hui, Edmund Husserl’s philosophy of time, and the writings of Vassily Kandinsky.

The foundations of Nunes’s work are J.S. Bach, the Romantic tradition from Franz Schubert to Gustav Mahler, and the Second Viennese School, especially Anton Webern, on whose Second Cantata, op. 31, Nunes began a doctoral thesis. He based his The Blending Season and Rubato, registres et résonances on Bach’s Invention in F minor. The title Rubato, registres et résonances summarizes the techniques he uses to transform Bach’s original material. Rubato functions as an element of interpretation by changing rhythmic proportions. Register is often discontinuous, influenced by Beethoven’s use of it for creating structure. Resonance is the elongation of harmonic and melodic events, giving rise to other relationships. References to Romanticism emerge in 73 Oeldorf 75 II, which uses excerpts from Schubert’s La Belle Meunière, String Quintet, D. 956, and Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960. Ruf displays the influence of Romanticism to an even greater degree by borrowing of elements from the last movement, “The Farewell,” of Mahler’s_Das Lied von der Erde_, a work in which the triad of caller, call and called is reduced to a duet of only the caller and call. Nunes’s oeuvre is full of such references to the compositions of other composers, revealing a deep awareness of the repertoire going back to Claudio Monteverdi, with a variety of coexisting, non-linear influences.

Another notable example of such borrowing is Dawn Wo, which takes the instrumentation of Kammerkonzert by Alban Berg, minus the soloists, along with rhythmic sequences derived from Webern’s Three Little Pieces, op. 11, for cello and piano. There are also other allusions, to Arnold Schoenberg, Edgard Varèse, and Stockhausen. These sources are hardly noticeable while listening to the work, Nunes’s analytical acuity having transformed them to such a degree that they blend in organically. This approach culminates in Ruf and the monumental mosaic Quodlibet, a musical biography of sorts in which Nunes borrows materials from his own previous compositions. According to the list drawn up by Peter Szendy, these include individual lines from Degrees, an interval from Fermata, the madrigal in Voyage du corps, the harp from Impromptu pour un voyage II, and a harmonic sequence from Purlieu. This “biography” should be understood in the strictest sense as the writing of life rather than as some kind of autobiographical confession. It gives rise to a “theater of sounds in space,” with the musicians distributed around the audience and moving among them throughout the performance.

Nunes subscribed to Stochkausen’s concept of the “open form.” Like in Beethoven’s last string quartets and some of Schubert’s sonatas, the compositional structure is heard in statu nascendi — in its moment of emergence, as an open space, in which a gesture appears and immediately becomes rhythm. Nunes was less interested in the intricacies of the score than in an open form that would allow the possibility of hearing any number of closed forms. In composing Momente, Stockhausen had followed in the footsteps of Beethoven and Richard Wagner by looking for a unity in duration, created by temporarily immobilizing certain elements. Similarly, Nunes believed

that the ever-present potential in freezing a dimension of musical discourse, along with a continual correspondence of such freezing to the spatial possibilities of other dimensions, leads to a profound transformation of their relationships. One of the most important aspects of such changes is the transfer of responsibility from one dimension to another, given their role in the solidifying of what I refer to as the teleological scope of the musical gesture.1

For Nunes, what is possible in terms of the reduction of compositional materials is matched only by the abundance of their combinations, as in Minnesang. Following Stockhausen’s idea of music occupying the crossroads of sound and language, he explored the conditions and modes of acoustics as a dimension of music. He also emphasized the importance of coming to understand the contradictions between the various temporalities in which a musical work exists: its conception, realization, and listening.


Nunes had studied Husserl’s On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time before encountering Stockhausen. While remaining sensitive to the idea that musicians could easily overstep when they interfere in philosophical domains, he accepted Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s invitation to comprehend concepts without destroying them through analysis. He also subscribed to Husserl’s ontology in which the paradigms of phenomenology are the temporal nature of sound and the modalities of listening. Husserl disconnects objective time from any apprehension or transcendental theory and understands sound as pure material data. Through these data, he analyzes the immanence and modes of appearance of temporal objects; he also focuses on the intentions involved when we are conscious of time. Indeed, we retain sound even as it passes into silence. Such retentions, the continuation of sound even in its absence, are coupled with “protentions,” or expectations, of how a melody will be. Sound lasts: a production of the conscience from an original source-point. Such sonic duration results from two intentions that run through and stretch it into what Husserl calls a “comet tail”: the sound’s retention in the orb of the present, to which its protention (our anticipation) also leads. This is its “longitudinal intentionality,” in the words of Paul Ricoeur. It makes sound’s immediacy not just a limited point, but the dispersed continuity of a great now. “Persistence through change is what it means for something to last”: Ricoeur’s statement is an excellent description of what it means to listen to a work by Nunes, during which the weaving and intertwining of movement and permanence, as between a river and its bed, is a fascinating paradoxical game.

Four other points are worth remembering. First, in the words of Husserl,

Sound begins as sonic experience. On it continuously hangs an immediacy that is ever new, with each “now” having its content, on which I can gaze. Swimming in this flow, following it with my intuition, my attention turns not only to each instant’s content, but to the entirety of its extension. This experience is what some call flow, with its real fullness or abstraction.”2

These words had a special resonance for Nunes, who pointed to the role of continuity within the unified composition given its “discrete creation, imbued with a sense of direction and locally accomplished gestures.”3 This musical continuity also resonates with dramatic continuities, even if each such phenomenon is interpreted according to the attention we pay it, and from different points of view and hierarchies. A notable example is in Improvisation II - Portrait, which is based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s short story “Krotkaya,” first published in 1876 and commonly translated into English as “A Gentle Creature.” The piece paints a portrait of a character in the story — not the narrative twists of plot, but an interiority, a world of its own.

Second, following Husserl, Nunes’s work emphasizes that the act of perceiving objects necessarily involves temporality, but also that the perception of duration itself presupposes a duration of perception. This experience of temporality is particularly noticeable in Omens II, which accentuates it through its frequent pianissimo nuances. Other works bear witness to this in other ways. For Nunes, the composer must weave together the duration of the act of composing (the time it takes to write a specific amount of music), the way in which duration is constituted musically (in this same amount of material), and how it is reconstituted during listening, at the time of perception.

The act of composing is an anticipatory orientation, a composed protention of the modes of perceiving and representing (the Wieder-Vergegenwärtigungen of) the musical object. For me, this means that certain decisions, made at the time of composition, orient its future listening, delimiting a minimal “range of the sonic experience” for the listener, thereby reinforcing the possibility of an eventual adequacy of the time of the musical object to that of the consciousness that perceives it.4

Third, for Nunes, every note, every form is the reduction of a larger totality. He therefore adopts the myth of an original sound, an Urklang, containing all that could be possibly perceived and in relation to which the finished work is withdrawn, out-of-time, freed from an existence in chronology. On this account, to compose is to take away, to remove, to subtract — to choose. The German word Lichten, meaning to prune, perhaps best describes this process. Sound, born in opposition to silence (Silentium) and non-sound (das Nichtklanglisches), leads the musician back with an insistent force to an original boundlessness. In other words, when we listen to a Beethoven sonata, there is also everything in absentia that is not this particular ≠≠sonata. This idea, with its Platonic resonance, is the yardstick against which we measure the cycle of the three Lichtung, in which the lightening, the clearings, and the breakthroughs of light through the metaphorical trees in the forest alter the course of the work.

Fourth, Nunes’s compositional style incorporates numerological significance, pointing to his hermeticism and desire for a mystical and spiritual secret language. His Das Märchen, based on Goethe’s tale of the same name, is a grand opera containing a prologue and two acts replete with alchemy and symbols expressed through a dense network of internal references and elaborate orchestration. Given the importance of the number three to Goethe’s tale, Nunes extends it through three levels in the opera: choreographic, theatrical, and musical. It has, then, an affinity with Mozart’s The Magic Flute, where the number three also plays a major structural role. Rather than remaining on the level of philosophical abstraction, the number three permeates the opera’s imagery. One such example is the bridge created by the green snake. At the narrative’s midday, it stretches its resplendent gem-stone body to become the third element connecting the two banks of the river on which the plot develops, contributing to the opera’s concluding apotheosis and the new order it establishes. Other elements of the narrative that manifest the number three are the will-o’-the-wisps, the ferryman, the lamp man’s hut, the three maids of honor, and the temple kings. In this fantasy landscape, the beautiful Lily kills by touching what lives, brings to life beings of stone, and weakens those on whom she gazes. A prince, reduced to the status of a wandering shadow, dies while rushing into her arms but is later reborn to marry the no-longer-dangerous yet still beautiful Lily. Before the wedding ceremony, the three powers of wisdom, appearance, and strength are praised, to which is added a love that teaches rather than governs. The three completed Épures du serpent vert, primarily based on the first act of the opera, extend the opera’s imagery and symbolism through musical magnification, prolongation, and tracing, without the original voices and percussion. The first is based on the prologue and first tableau of Scene 1, the second, on the second and third tableaux of Scene 1, and the third, on Scene 3. Nunes also made use of elements from the opera in The Black Hand, which presents fragments of the first tableau of Scene 3, and his Death and the Life of Death, which combines forty-one fragments from both acts of the opera.

Returning to the subject of secret languages, Minnesang makes use of nouns, verbs, and arguments relating to soul, light, and love, borrowed from the works of theosophist Jakob Boehme. Because the work uses multiple vocal genres, the intelligibility of the lyrics is constantly changing. The settings include melodic unfolding and harmonic superimposition, combined with the occasional dramatic highlighting of an expression or phrase. Nunes had studied phonetics with the linguist and communication theorist Georg Heike while attending Stockhausen’s seminars in Cologne. The placement of the phonemes in the mouth — the throat, palate, tongue, teeth, and lips — as well as their combination, suggest a kabbalistic quality, in particular for the second name of God, after the Tetragrammaton YHWH, Adonaï, which is sung in Minnesang, invoking the letters’ mystical quality.

The cycle of four Chessed is similar. In the texts of the Kabbalah, Chessed is the fourth Sefirot, the fourth of the ten spheres of divine manifestation. It is the Tree of Life, signifying God’s grace, love, and mercy. Coming after Nunes’s work Tif’ereth and his reading of works by Martin Buber and Gershom Scholem, his Chessed again uses references from Judaism, specifically the experience of a blinding light described by the Zohar. The inspiration for the lush orchestral sections within Chessed II and Chessed IV are found in Chessed I, which is for sixteen instruments divided into four ensembles, in contrast to the much smaller string quartet of Chessed III. Together, they create a moment of luminous epiphany. In an analogous vein, Wandlungen is organized around the number five, with the music for its twenty-five instruments dominated by five-note chords with two intervals of a fifth.


Nunes’s early works composed before 1973 combine improvisation with rigorous parts for (usually small) ensembles, such as in Degrés, Esquisses, and Omens I (which he withdrew from his catalog). In these, he concentrated on pitch organization, registral distribution, and the generative power of intervals.

His post-1973 work can be divided into two cycles. In the first, up to 1977, four notes — G, G-sharp, E, and A — constitute the harmonic subconscious underlying each work. These are reduced to just two, E and G-sharp, in the first 210 bars of Minnesang, where Nunes incorporates voice, tape, and electronic processing. Nachtmusik I is a hinge between the two cycles: negative in relation to the first, positive in relation to the second. The piece is a kind of morendo based on the conspicuous absence of the four notes, almost forcing their compositional reappearance.

The beginning of the second cycle, entitled La Création, marks a shift away from the lexical focus of the first cycle toward a concentration on grammar. In the following terms, Nunes summarized his focus: “What happens when we have periodicities that are superimposed in a cyclical manner?” His answer is a rhythmic pair. For example, take two rhythms: a septuplet and a quintuplet. Place the two on the same line, then determine the “proportions of durations that separate the attacks in their event order.”5 The rhythmic structure of their superposition can be described by means of the smallest common multiple of the two rhythms: in this case, 35 = 5 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 5. To use a more concrete example, imagine two people moving away from point A and toward point B. They leave and arrive in the same amount of time, but each takes a different number of steps: seven for one while the other takes five. The jagged proportions of time between their steps can be added up, giving the sequence 5 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 5 = 35.

There are three important points to note. A) Any rhythmic pair can be reduced to a mathematical formula. B) All rhythmic pairs are symmetrical. Similar to the non-retrogradable rhythms of Olivier Messiaen, the second half of a pair’s sequence is always the retrograde of the first: in the case of 5 and 7, which lends 35, the sequence is 5 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 / + 5 / + 1 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 5 = 35. Related to a common axis, symmetry thus simultaneously joins rhythm, periodicity, and space. C) Consequently, any mathematically reduced, abstracted, and formalized rhythmic pair is able to organize other musical domains, including tempos, intervals, harmonic structures (based on the harmonic series), melodic structures (as in Einspielung I), and rhythmic phrasing. The continuity between rhythms and pitches evokes Stockhausen’s article “How Time Passes By,” as well as the “harmonic series of proportions” of Boulez’s Penser la musique aujourd’hui. La Création uses primary pairs (27/20, 27/16, 19/16, 19/12, 19/10, 17/15, 17/12, 16/15, 15/14, 15/8, 10/7, 9/8, 9/5, 8/5) and secondary pairs (7/5, 6/5, 5/4, 5/3, 4/3, 3/2, 7/1, 5/1, 3/1). La Création includes two sub-cycles, each composed of three works: Einspielung, for violin, cello, and viola, and Versus, which includes the same instruments plus clarinet, euphonium, and flute in G. Nunes dedicated these six pieces to his daughter Martha.

In his Lichtung cycle, Nunes applied his theory of rhythmic pairs to spatialization, a topic he had studied in depth at IRCAM with Éric Daubresse prior to theorizing it. He investigated space as a musical idea inseparable from rhythm, timbre, envelope of attack, and reverberation, as well as the propagation, localization, and directionality of sound. As sound is disseminated and encircled, the space reads the sound, with the sound revealing the space in turn. Nunes distinguished his own ideas from historical conceptions of sound as an accompaniment for places and events, including rituals and other religious, dramatic, and even natural occurrences. In his later works, he uses electronic sound processing to morph frequencies and timbral relations, realizing, according to Alain Bioteau, an idiomatic spatial virtuosity. The diffusion of events is dazzling, dizzying in its motility, with the segmentation of direction comparable to the movements of a virtuosic dancer. Using the circle as a metaphor for the octave, Nunes developed an analytical lexicon of sound placement based on tonal inflection and intonation, in which the repeated play of kaleidoscopic and ornamented rhythms at variable speeds creates such spatial virtuosity. The computer contributes to this, not as an added, external arranger, but as an active listener to the instrumental writing, to which it adds strict counterpoint. From this sonic space comes above all a sense of distance, of an essential estrangement, reflecting an underlying feeling of tragedy. Along with The Creation cycle, Nunes’s other spatialized compositions include Vislumbre, Quodlibet, Machina Mundi, Omnia mutantur, nihil interit, and Musivus.

Following Das Märchen and before his final work Peter Kien — Eine Akustische Maske (with texts based on Elias Canetti), Nunes, having completed his two great cycles, returned to the stage with the opera La Douce. The work is based on Dostoevsky’s short story “Krotkaya.” Around it gravitate three Improvisations: For a Monodram (Für ein Monodram, I), Portrait (II), and The Electricity of Human Thought (IV). The third improvisation is notable in its absence. Nunes first read “Krotkaya” in a French translation by Boris de Schloezer, but it was his later reading of a German translation by Elisabeth K. Rahsin that prompted him to compose the work. He ultimately based it on his studies of seven different translations in French, German, and parts of the original Russian. La Douce tells the story of a young woman who, having had a painful childhood of solitude and violence, finds in marriage a tyranny from which she cannot escape. When her husband casually offers her a trip, she commits suicide, realizing her last and seemingly only act of freedom: that of ending her own life. The story begins six hours after she has died by throwing herself out of a window. Her husband, having arrived at the scene, is distraught. With her body lying in front of him, he tries to remember and understand the misery and events of their life together that drove her to suicide. Fearing the judgment of an imaginary court, he selfishly laments his fate: “What will become of me, when tomorrow they take her away?” But his monologue is interrupted by the rising voice of the dead woman; their duet splits between French and German, the two voices (a soprano and a countertenor) in expressive, even expressionistic, interaction. As for the opera’s music, all of its elements can be heard as the sonic placement of theatrical action — a scenery, landscape, or environment, in the theater of language and drama.

Translated from the French by Melvin Backstrom.

1. Emmanuel NUNES, “Grund,” in Emmanuel NUNES, Grund, Minnesang, Pierre-Yves Artaud, flute, Groupe Vocal de France, Michel Tranchant, dir., CD Adda, 1990, no. 581 110, p. 9-10. 
2. Edmund HUSSERL, On the phenomenology of the intimate consciousness of time, Grenoble, Jérôme Millon, 2003, p. 168. 
3. Emmanuel NUNES, “Préalables à une lecture ‘musicale’ de Husserl,” Filigrane, Vol. 1, 2005, p. 189. 
4. Ibid. 
5. Emmanuel NUNES, Quelques éléments d’un grammaire, published in German by Josef Häusler under the title “Grundsätzliches un Spezielles” in Donaueschinger Musiktage (1981), cited and translated in Peter SZENDY, “Réécrire: Quodlibet d’Emmanuel Nunes,” Genesis (Manuscrits-Recherche-Invention) 4 (1993): p. 122. 

Laurent Feneyrou, 2007, texte révisé en 2012 et en 2022.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2007



  • Peter SZENDY (sous la dir. de), Emmanuel Nunes, Paris, Festival d’automne à Paris, 1992.
  • Éric DAUBRESSE, « Éléments d’analyse technique : Lichtung (1992) d’Emmanuel Nunes », Cahiers d’analyse création et technologie – documentation musicale, Paris, Ircam – Centre Georges Pompidou, 1992.
  • Peter SZENDY (sous la dir. de), Emmanuel Nunes, Paris, L’Harmattan / Ircam – Centre Georges Pompidou, 1998.
  • Hélène BOREL, Alain BIOTEAU, Éric DAUBRESSE, Emmanuel Nunes, compositeur portugais (XXe siècle), Paris, Centre culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, 2001.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Escritos e entrevistas (Paulo de Assis, sous la dir. de), Porto, Casa de música / Centro de estudos de sociologia e estética musical, 2011.
  • Emmanuel Nunes, Munich, Ricordi, 2011.
Extraits d’ouvrages collectifs ou articles de pérodiques
  • Emmanuel NUNES, « Grund » (texte partiel), dans Grund, Minnesang, Pierre-Yves Artaud, flûte (I), Groupe Vocal de France (II), Michel Tranchant, dir. (II), CD Adda, 1990, n° 581 110, pp. 4-10.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, « Notations-souvenirs-fragments », dans Karlheinz Stockhausen, Paris / Genève, Festival d’automne à Paris / Contrechamps, 1988, pp. 16-17.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, « L’alchimie des lectures obliques », dans Répons, Lisbonne, Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, 1990, pp. 31-37.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, « Temps et spatialité », Les Cahiers de l’Ircam, Volume 5, 1994, pp. 121-141.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, « Un espace de temps », dans Nähe und Distanz. Nachgedachte Musik der Gegenwart (Wolfgang Gratze, sous la dir. de), Hofheim, Wolke, 1997, pp. 113-153.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, « Préalables à une lecture “musicale” de Husserl », Filigrane, Volume 1, 2005, pp. 181-199.
  • Peter SZENDY, « Réécrire : Quodlibet d’Emmanuel Nunes », Genesis, Jean-Michel Place / Ircam – Centre Georges Pompidou, Volume 4, 1993, pp. 111-133.
Thèses et mémoires
  • Peter SZENDY, Avant-texte, textes, contextes. À partir du Quodlibet d’Emmanuel Nunes, Thèse de doctorat en musicologie (Hugues Dufourt, dir.), Ircam / EHESS, 1995.
  • Alain BIOTEAU, Intégration de l’espace dans les processus compositionnels d’Emmanuel Nunes. Le cas de Lichtung I, Mémoire de musicologie, Ircam / EHESS, 1997.
  • Alain BIOTEAU, Intégration de l’espace dans l’œuvre d’Emmanuel Nunes et contexte historique, Thèse de doctorat en musicologie (Alain Poirier, dir.), CNSMDP / EHESS, 2006.


  • Emmanuel NUNES, « Minnesang / Musivus », SWR Vokalensemble (I), WDR Sinfonieorchester (II), Emilio Pomàrico, dir., 1 CD WERGO, 2019, WER 7378 2.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Épures Du Serpent Vert II ; Aura ; Improvisation I - Für Ein Monodram, dans « Emmanuel Nunes », 1 CD Ricordi, 2011.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Litanies du feu et de la Mer I & II, See Siang Wong : piano, avec des œuvres de Rudolf Kelterborn, 1 cd Guild, 2008, GMCD 7318.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Épures du serpent vert 2, Duktus, Remix Ensemble, Peter Rundel, dir., CD Numérica, 2007, n° NUM 1153.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, La main noire, Improvisation II - Portrait, Versus III, Christophe Desjardins, alto, Emmanuelle Ophèle, flûte (III), 1 cd æon, 2007, AECD0756.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Lichtung I, Lichtung II, Ensemble intercontemporain, Jonathan Nott, dir., Technique Ircam, 1 cd Accord, 2003, n° 472 964-2.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Wandlungen, Ensemble Modern der Jugen Deutschen Philharmonie, Ernest Bour, dir., Experimentalstudio der Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung des Südwestfunks, Freiburg, 1 cd col legno, 1998, WWE 20025.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Quodlibet, Ensemble Modern, Orchestre Gulbenkian, Kasper de Roo et Emilio Pomárico, direction, 1 cd Auvidis / Montaigne, 1995, n° MO 782055.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Machina mundi, Pierre-Yves Artaud, flûte, Ernesto Molinari, clarinette, Gérard Buquet, tuba, Claire Talibart, percussion, Chœur et Orchestre Gulbenkian, Fabrice Bollon, direction, 1 cd Auvidis / Montaigne, 1994, MO 782020.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Degrés, Nachtmusik, Ensemble Contrechamps, Mark Foster, direction (II), 1 cd Accord, 1994, n° 204392.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Musik der Frühe, Esquisses, Ensemble intercontemporain (I), Peter Eötvös, dir. (I), Quatuor Arditti (II), 1 cd Erato, 1990, n° ECD 75551.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Grund, Minnesang, Pierre-Yves Artaud, flûte (I), Groupe Vocal de France (II), Michel Tranchant, direction (II), 1 cd Adda, 1990, n° 581 110.
  • Emmanuel NUNES, Litanies du feu et de la mer, Alice Ader, piano, 1 cd Adda, 1989, n° 581 095.

Liens Internet