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Nunes, Emmanuel

Stage works
Orchestra works
Ensemble works
Chamber music
Vocal music
Solo works


STAGE WORKS

La Douce (Die Sanfte) • [2008-09]  
Music theatre for two actors, two singers, chamber ensemble and live electronics
Libretto (in German and French) by Emmanuel Nunes after the story „La Douce“ by Fjodor Dostojewski 
S (La douce I). Ct (Le mari I). 2 Sch (La douce II, Le mari II).
2 (Picc, AFl, BFl, KbFl). 1 (Ob d’am). 2 BCl (A-Cl, KbCl). 0. / 0. 0. 0. 0. Euph. / Pno (präp) (MIDI-Keyb). 2 MIDI-Keyb. 3 Perc. / 3. 0. 2. 2. 1. / Live-El.
Live electronics: IRCAM Paris
World Premiere: 22.9.2009, Porto
Duration: ca. 120’
Sy. 3935 // *Score / Vx. / Live-El.

Das Märchen (Le Conte, dit du Serpent Vert) •
[2002-2007]  
Opera in one prologue and two acts  
for eight solo voices, five actors, dancers, mixed choir, large orchestra, MIDI keyboard and live electronics
Libretto by Emmanuel Nunes after J.W.v.Goethe: Das Märchen
lyrischer S (Lilie). S (the snake). A (the old one). Ct (1. Irrlicht, the old one, 4. king). T (the prince, 2. Irrlicht, 2. king). B (the man, the ferryman). Minor parts: T. B. / 5 Sch / Dancers
Choir SATB (6. 6. 6. 6.) / 4 (4 Picc. 4 AFl). 4 (2 Eng.Hn). 4 (Cl in Es. Cl in A. 2 BCl). KbCl (BCl). 2 (CBn). 2 CBn. / 6. 3. Picctr. 3. BTbn. 0. Euph. / 2 Hp. 6 Perc. MIDI-Keyb. / 9. 6. 9. 7. 9. / Live-El.
Live-electronic: IRCAM Paris
World Premiere: 25.1.2008, Lisbon
Duration: ca. 3h30m
Sy. 3290 // Score / Vx. / Choir-P. / Live-El.



ORCHESTRA WORKS

Mort et vie de la mort (Des Todes Tod und Leben) • [2008]
for large orchestra
I. Le désir / The Desire; II. La parole / The Word; III. La mort / The Death 
4 (4 Picc. 4 AFl). 4 (2 Eng.Hn). 4 (2 BCl). BCl (KbCl). 2 (CBn). 2 CBn. / 6. 3. Picctr. 3. BTbn. 0. Euph. / 2 Hp. / 6 Perc. / 15. 12. 9. 11. 9.
World Premiere: 19.10.2008, Donaueschingen
Duration: 50’
Sy. 3926 // *Score / Vx.

Musivus • [1998/2000-2001]
for orchestra in four groups 
3 (3 Picc). 3 (Eng.Hn). 2. 2 BCl. 2 (CBn). CBn. / 4. 2. Picctr. 2. 2 BTbn. 1. / 4-8 Perc. Pno (Glsp). 2 Hp. / 12. 12. 10. 10. 8.
World Premiere: 31.3.2001, Cologne
Duration: 40’
Sy. 3401 // *Score / Vx.

Chessed IV • [1992/94]
for string quartet and orchestra
2 Vl. Vla. Vc.
2 (2 Picc). 2 (2 Eng.Hn). 1. BCl. 1. CBn. / 4. 1. Picctr. 2. 1. / 12. 10. 10. 8. 8.
World Premiere: 27.11.1994, Paris
Duration: 21’
Sy. 3125 // Score / Vx.

Machina Mundi • [1991-92]
for four solo instruments, mixed choir, orchestra and audio tape 
Luis de Camões (Os Lusíadas), Fernando Pessoa (Mensagem)
Fl (KbFl, Obfl). Cl (KbCl). Tb. Perc.
Choir SATB / 2 (2 Picc). 2 (Eng.Hn). 2 (BCl). 2 (CBn). / 2. 2. 2. 1. / 3 Perc. / 12. 12. 8. 8. 4.
World Premiere: 17.11.1992, Paris
Duration: 67’
Sy. 3124 // Score / Vx. / Choir-P. / Carr.

Quodlibet • [1990-91]
for percussion sextet, instrumental ensemble and orchestra with seven soloists and two conductors 
6 Perc.
Ensemble: 2. 2. 2. BCl. 0. / 2. 2. 2. 1. / 3 Vl. 2 Vla. 2 Vc.
7 Soli: 2 Perc. 2 DB. Hp. Cel. CBn. (preferably from the ensemble)
Orchestra: 2 (Picc). 1. Eng.Hn. 1. BCl. 0. / 2. 2. 2. Btb. / 8. 8. 6. 6. 4.
World Premiere: 11.5.1991, Lisbon
Duration: 57’
Sy. 3107 // Score / Vx.

Nachtmusik II • [1981/2000]
for orchestra
4 (4 Picc). 4 (1 Eng.Hn). 1. Cl in Es. BCl. KbCl. 2. 2 CBn. / 4. 3. Picctr. 4. 1. / 5 Perc. / 12. 10. 12. 12. 10.
World Premiere: 17.10.2003, Donaueschingen
Duration: 26’
Sy. 3056 // *Score / Vx.

Chessed II • [1980]
for 16 instruments in four groups (see Chessed I) and orchestra
4 Vl. / 4 Cl (Es, B, BCl, KbCl). / 2 Fl (2 Picc). 2 Vla. / Vc. 3 D.B. (5-string).
0. 3. 0. 1. 2 CBn. / 4. 2. Picctr. 2. BTbn. 0. / 10. 10. 8. 8. 0.
Material on request
World Premiere: 1980, Munich
Duration: 25’
Sy. 3159 // Score / Vx.

Tif’ereth • [1978/85]
for six solo instruments and six orchestra groups with two conductors 
Vl. Ob. Tbn. Hr. Perc. DB.
4 (4 Picc). 4 (2 Eng.Hn). 4 (B/Es, B, BCl, BCl/KbCl). 2. 2 CBn. / 6. 4. 4. 2. / 6 Perc. Cel (Glsp). / 14. 10. 10. 10. 10.
World Premiere: 8.12.1985, Paris
Duration: 75’
Sy. 3022 // Score / Vx.



ENSEMBLE WORKS (6 instruments and more)

Peter Kien – Eine akustische Maske • [2011-12]
for chamber ensemble and live-electronic
I. Einsichten; II. An die Bücher; III. Erstarrung; IV. Irrfahrt
after Elias Canetti „Die Blendung“
1 (Picc, BFl). 0. 1 (BCl). BCl (KbCl). Barsax. 1 (CBn). / 0. 0. 0. 0. / Hp. Perc. 2 MIDI-Keyb. / 3. 0. 1. 2. 1. / Live-El.
World Premiere: 29.4.2012, Witten
Duration: 25’
Sy. 4183 // Score / Vx. / Live-El.

Lichtung III • [2007]
for ensemble with live-electronic
2 (Picc. AFl). 0. 2. BCl (KbCl). 0. CBn. / Hr. Tr (Picctr). Aps. Euph. / 2 Hp. 4 Perc. / 2 Vl. 2 Vla. 2 Vc. 1 DB. / Live-El. 
live-electronic: IRCAM Paris
World Premiere: 15.6.2007, Paris
Duration: 23’
Sy. 3787 // *Score / Vx. / Live-El.

Épures du Serpent Vert IV • [2007]
for large ensemble
3 (3 Picc, 3 AFl). 1. Eng.Hn. 1. BCl. KbCl. 2 (CBn). CBn. / 2. 1. Picctr. 2. 0. Euph. / 2 Hp. / 3. 0. 3. 3. 3.
World Premiere: 7.10.2007, Lisbon
Duration: 28’
Sy. 3806 // *Score / Vx.

Épures du Serpent Vert II • [2005-06]
for large ensemble
3 (3 Picc, 3 AFl). 1. Eng.Hn. 1. BCl. KbCl. 2. CBn. / 2. 1. Picctr. 2. 0. Euph. / 2 Hp. / 3. 0. 3. 3. 3.
World Premiere: 18.2.2006, Lisbon
Duration: 30’
Sy. 3805 // *Score / Vx.

Improvisation I – Für ein Monodram • [2002-2005]
for nine instrumentalists
Fl (Picc, BFl). Ob (Ob d’am). Cl (in A, BCl, KbCl). Euph. Pno (präp.). Perc. Vl. Vla. Vc. / all instr. with extras (Perc).
World Premiere: 19.8.2005, Salzburg
Duration: 25’
Sy. 3554 // *Score / Vx.

Épures du Serpent Vert I • [2002-04]
for large ensemble
3 (3 Picc, 3 AFl). 1. Eng.Hn. 2. BCl. 2. CBn. / 2. 1. Picctr.  2. 0. Euph. / 2 Hp. / 3. 0. 3. 3. 3.
World Premiere: 14.12.2004, Porto
Duration: 33’
Sy. 3804 // Score / Vx.

Omnia mutantur, nihil interit • [1996]
for women’s choir and ensemble 
Ovid (Metamorphoses, 15th book)
Choir 10 S. 10 A. / Fl (AFl). Cl (in A, BCl, KbCl). Cl (in B). Tr (in D, Picctr). Ps (BTbn). Euph (Tb). 6 Perc. 2 Hp. Vl. Vla.
World Premiere: 18.10.1996, Paris
Duration: 43’
Sy. 3289 // *Score / Vx. / Choir-P.

Lichtung II • [1995-96/99]
for chamber ensemble and live-electronic
2 Cl. BCl. / Hr. Aps. Euph. / 4 Perc. Hp. / Vl. Vla. Vc. DB. / Live-El.
Live-electronic: IRCAM Paris
World Premiere: 16.6.2000, Paris
Duration: 31’
Sy. 3222 // *Score / Vx. / Live-El.

Lichtung I • [1988-91]
for chamber ensemble and live-electronic
Cl (BCl). Hr. Tbn Euph. 4 Perc. Vc. / Live-El.
Live-electronic: IRCAM Paris
World Premiere: 13.2.1992, Paris
Duration: 24’
Sy. 3126 // *Score / Vx. / Live-El.

Duktus • [1987]
for ensemble
1 (Picc). AFl. 2. 2. BCl. 0. CBn. / 1. 1. 1. 1. / 4 Perc. / 2. 0. 2. 2. 1.
World Premiere: 17.7.1987, Saint Paul de Vence
Duration: 25’
Sy. 3026 // *Score / Vx.

Wandlungen • [1986]
five passacaglias for 25 instruments and live-electronic (ad lib.)
1 (Picc). AFl (Picc). 1. Eng.Hn. 2. BCl. 1. / 1. 1. 1. 0. / 3 Perc. Glsp. Cel. Hp. / 3. 0. 2. 2. 1. / Live-El (ad lib).
Live-electronic: IRCAM Paris
World Premiere: 18.10.1986, Donaueschingen
Duration: 31’
Sy. 3025 // *Score / Vx. / Live-El.

Musik der Frühe • [1980/86]
for ensemble
1 (Picc). 1. 1. BCl. 0. CBn. / 1. 1. 4 (Aps. 2 Tbps. BTbn). 0. / 2. 0. 2. 2. 1.
World Premiere: 26.4.1987, Frankfurt
Duration: 41’
Sy. 3029 // *Score / Vx.

Chessed I • [1979/2005]
for 16 instruments in four groups  
4 Vl. / 4 Cl (Es, B, BCl, KbCl). / 2 Fl (2 Picc). 2 Vla. / Vc. 3 D.B. (5-string).
World Premiere: 27.8.2005, Cologne
Duration: 25’
Sy. 3149 // *Score / Vx.




CHAMBER MUSIC

Improvisation IV – L’électricité de la pensée humaine • [2008-09]
for string quartet 
2 Vl. Vla. Vc.
World Premiere: 26.8.2009, San Sébastián
Duration: 13’
Sy. 3933 // *Score / *Vx.

La main noire • [2006-07]
for three violas
3 Vla.
World Premiere: 29.9.2007, Strasbourg
Duration: 9’
Sy. 3758 // *Score / *Vx.

Rubato, Registres et Résonances • [1991]
for violin, clarinet/bass clarinet and flute/octobass flute 
Vl. Cl (BCl). Fl (OctobFl). 
World Premiere: 13.3.1991, Santiago de Compostela
Duration: 17’
Sy. 3849 // *Score

Chessed III • [1990-91]
for string quartet 
2 Vl. Vla. Vc.
World Premiere: 8.6.1992, Lisbon
Duration: 13’
Sy. 3871 // *Score

Clivages I/II • [1987-88]
for six percussionists
6 Perc.
World Premiere: 1988, Turin
Duration: 35’
Sy. 3037 // *Score

Versus III • [1987/90]
for flute in G and viola
AFl. Vla.
World Premiere: 19.11.1991, Brussels
Duration: 14’
Sy. 3848 // *Score

Sonata a tre • [1986]
Passacaglia 3 from „Wandlungen“ for violin, viola and violoncello
Vl. Vla. Vc.
World Premiere: 5.4.1987, Helsinki
Duration: 4’
Sy. 3087 // *Score / *Vx.

Versus II • [1985/95]
for euphonium and violoncello
Euph. Vc.
World Premiere: Mai 1995, Lisbon
Duration: 14’
Sy. 3847 // *Score



VOCAL MUSIC

Vislumbre • [1981/86]
for mixed choir a cappella
Mário de Sá-Carneiro
Choir SATB
World Premiere: 8.5.1986, Lisbon
Duration: 17’
Sy. 3023 // Choir-P. / *Stud.-P.

Minnesang • [1975-76]
for twelve voices
Jakob Böhme
Choir SATB (3. 3. 3. 3.)
World Premiere: 1981, Paris
Duration: 23’
Sy. 3057 // *Score / *Choir-P.



SOLO WORKS

Improvisation II – Portrait • [2002]
for viola solo
2 Vla (1 Sp).
World Premiere: 9.5.2003, Witten
Duration: 22’
Sy. 3873 // *Score

Aura • [1983/89]
for flute
Fl.
World Premiere: 13.3.1991, Santiago de Compostela
Duration: 18’
Sy. 3024 // *Score
*31 Aug 1941 Lisbon / Portugal, † 2 Sep 2012 Paris / France

Emmanuel Nunes was born in 1941 in Lisbon/Portugal, where he studied from 1959 to 1964. He gained important stimuli from attending seminars at the Darmstadt Summer Courses 1963 to 1965, and from composition studies in Cologne with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Henri Pousseur. Also significant in forming Nunes’ aesthetic were writings by Pierre Boulez and Edmund Husserl. He taught at numerous institutions, such as the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon (1980 to 2009), at the summer courses of Darmstadt (1986 and 2002), at Musikhochschule Freiburg (1986 to 1992) and as full professor at the Paris Conservatoire (1992 to 2006); in addition, from the mid-eighties he worked closely at the Ircam. In particular, works like Ruf, Wandlungen, Quodlibet and Lichtung I-III assured international attention, not least on account of the ingenious application of electronic means and spatial concepts.

The two stage works Das Märchen and La Douce can be regarded climactic points in his output, but have so far only been performed in Portugal. A typical characteristic of his music is the cohesion of detail and overall form, within a music that is rhythmically mostly very diverse, and full of contrasts. His music has been performed by numerous European orchestras, ensembles and interpreters, and awarded the highest honours (e.g. UNESCO CIM-Prize 1999, Pessoa Prize 2000).

Nunes died in Paris on September 2, 2012, two days after his seventy-first birthday. His last work Peter Kien – eine akustische Maske was played just a few months before by the Collegium Novum Zürich. In 2017, the world premiere of Un calendrier révolu—a previously unplayed work written in 1968 but only released by the composer in 2012— was performed posthumously by the SWR Vokalensemble and Remix-Ensemble during the SWR Donaueschiger Musiktage. 
 

Emmanuel Nunes Brochure (2009)



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