Paien’s preserved (attributed) oeuvre is exclusively vocal. Apart from five chansons in French for 4 voices (some of which were later arranged for Lute), it consists of fifteen Motets, in Latin (except “In Gott gelaub ich das er hat”, in German) for 4 or 5 voices. His work establishment at court the modern musica reservate style as the Bavarian ambassador explicitly predicted in a letter to his duke. In 1548, we published in Augsburg with Cornelius Canis, Thomas Crequillon and the organist Jean Lestainnier the Motet collection Contiones Selectissimae dediceted to the emperor Charles V. His life and work remain to be studied thoroughly.
Sources ∓ references
Prof. Ignace Bossuyt, De Vlaams Polyfonie. Leuven (Louvain), Davidsfonds, 1994
Albert Dunning’s articles in Grove
Allan W. Atlas, Renaissance Music: Music in Western Europe, 1400–1600. New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1998.
Nicolas (the name Paien is French for “heathen” or rustic) was born in Zinnik (Soignies) and received his first training at its St. Vincent church. About age 13 he was recruited for the exclusively “Flemish” (i.e. Spanish Low Countries)-manned Capilla Flamenca, the royal court chapel in the Spanish capital Madrid. Possibly after university, he rose in the 1540s to cleric and chaplain, and ultimately Maestra da capilla (director) in 1556, after the resignation of Cornelius Canis (the year after emperor Charles V’s abdication). The favor of king Philip II (Charles’s son) earned him honors including the prebend of canon at Tournai cathedral (near his birthplace). He died in Madrid, in or shortly after 1559, and was succeeded by five more Fiammighi during Philip’s reign and that of two royal successors, starting with the much more famous Pierre de Manchicourt.