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His religious compositions include 19 Masses, circa 70 motets, nine Psalms and a Magnificat, demonstrating his mastery of counterpoint, even in 8 parts (as in the Motet “Vidi speciosam”); like N. Gombert he concentrates on form, continuous imitation and compactness, not expression of the text. He also left over fifty chansons, typical for a Flemish contemporary of Thomas Crequillon and J. Clemens non Papa, on heterogenous texts, ranging from the erotical burlesque “Petit Jacquet” and “Celle qui a facheulx mari” to the chanson spirituelle “De fonds de ma pensée”, a French translation by Clément Marot of the liturgically important Psalm 129 “De profundis clamavi”; most are in a similar “Flemish” erudite style, but a few in the “Parisian” more popular style (he notably adopts syllabic declamation, lively rhythm and repetetive structure). In 1539 Pierre Attaignant published in Paris a collection of his motets, while he still only lead the Tours cathedral choir.
His “Amour organ” — in an arrangement by his contemporary Georg Rhaw — was recorded by The Early Music Consort of London, directed by David Munrow, on “David Munrow — Music for Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain | Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance” for the label Testament, catalogue no. SBT 1251
This Franco-Flemish composer belongs to the fourth generation of Flemish Polyphony, championed by Adriaan Willaert and Nicolaas Gombert. From 1525 perhaps a choirboy at Arras Cathedral; 1539 leader of the cathedral of Tours, from 1545 music teacher and later Kapellmeister at Toumai cathedral, returning to Arras as a canon (so presumably a priest) by 1556. Piere lived in the Spanish royal capital Madrid from 1559 to lead Philip II’s the Capilla flamenca (“Flemish” chapel — as the first of several Kapellmeister from the Low Countries ending with Mathieu Rosmarin in 1634) and perhaps also his Spanish chapel.
[This contribution is based on KULeuven’s musicology professor Ignace Bossuyt’s book “De Vlaamse Polyfonie”.]