Cool Runnings with the Pacifica Quartet, Peter Bruun, Jexper Holmen and More

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This week on the New Canon, we go in-depth on our current Album of the Week, a two-disc set by the Pacifica Quartet and the continuation of their series "The Soviet Experience," here exploring the string quartets of Shostakovich and Prokofiev.

If you're like me, this warm weather is coming on a little too strong and too early. Fortunately, there are quite a few new releases that cast a comfortable chill over the rising temperatures, sticky afternoons and uncomfortably warm evenings.

In addition to the bluster of Shostakovich and Prokofiev from the Pacificas, we venture into a Danish cathedral whose phenomenal acoustics are heard on a new album, Spaces and Places, featuring the multifaceted flute talents of Eva Ostergaard and music by the likes of Peter Bruun and Jexper Holmen. We'll also turn to Janacek with his late-in-life piano sonata, In the Mists, recently recorded for ECM by Hungarian virtuoso Dénes Várjon.

But it's not all winter this week: There are some Mediterranean breezes coming in off of a piano work by Rob Keeley called Bells of Halkis, and we'll also hear a cool piano sonata by Allen Shawn, brother to Wallace.