In the Telegraph:
For what is claimed to be the first time, the four concerti that make up The Four Seasons have been recorded in a vocal version - using the four sonnets thought to have been written by the Venetian composer to accompany them.
Juliette Pochin, a Welsh mezzo soprano who has been hailed as "the next Katherine Jenkins" has used a selection of lines from Vivaldi's sonnets and sung them in Italian over parts of The Four Seasons. In effect, her voice replaces the solo violin.
When Vivaldi wrote the concerti in 1726, the sonnets appeared as prefaces.
Bucolic, and rather obvious, they are not of the quality of Shakespeare but as Vivaldi noted, "they explain the music more easily". Pochin's 10-minute suite appears on her album Venezia, a celebration of the music of Venice.
The Times tells of another llicit Chinese episcopal consecration:
CHINA threw down a fresh challenge to the Vatican yesterday by installing a third bishop in its state-approved Catholic church in defiance of Rome.
Zhan Silu, 45, became bishop of the Mindong diocese in southeastern Fujian province, where the Catholic Church is particularly strong but where most of the faithful are members of an underground church loyal to Rome.
His appointment is controversial because it was sanctioned by China’s state-approved church but has not been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. It jeopardises any progress achieved in recent tortuous and quiet contacts with the Vatican towards normalising relations, which have been frozen since the 1949 Communist takeover.
China’s state church has twice angered Rome in recent weeks. It unilaterally consecrated a bishop in Wuhu, in the eastern province of Anhui, and another in Kunming, in southwestern Yunnan, drawing warnings from the Vatican that both could be excommunicated.
Last week an assistant bishop was appointed in the northeastern Shenyang with Vatican approval. But the damage to the fragile breakthrough in relations may be long lasting.
The bishop said that he would have liked the Vatican’s approval but it never came.