Somewhat to my surprise, I have posted here over a hundred times in the last year. But very many of the posts were of (at best!) pretty ephemeral interest — for example, giving links to then current drafts of the Beginning Mathematical Logic Study Guide, to updated chapters for Gödel Without (Too Many) Tears (lots of those), and updated chapters for the stuttering notes on Category Theory (lots of those too). Other posts were logic/maths booknotes, not all exactly friendly. But I wasn’t always mean: there was warmer praise for a number of books, including the following very mixed bag:
- Greg Restall, Proofs and Models in Philosophical Logic (the best of the Cambridge Elements on logic so far).
- Laszlo Csirmaz and Zalán Gyenis, Mathematical Logic: Exercises and Solutions (an interesting sourcebook of problems).
- Hal Prince, The Annotated Gödel (surprisingly successful translation-and-explanatory-commentary on Gödel 1931).
- Tai-Danae Bradley, Tyler Bryson and John Terilla, Topology: A Categorical Approach (short but illuminating).
I’ve also been intrigued by the opening chapters of
- Neil Tennant, The Logic of Number,
but I’m not at all sure what to make of Tennant’s deviant form of logicism and his handling of logical objects more generally. And as you’ve noticed, I’m still wrestling with and learning from
- Jeremy Avigad, Mathematical Logic and Computation:
More, no doubt, about this very substantial book in the new year.
There have also been a dozen and a half posts on particular musical enthusiasms. So, since you may have a little more time over this holiday season, let me repost links to three wonderful filmed performances which are still available to watch. First, the wondrous Pavel Haas Quartet, recently at Wigmore Hall:
As I wrote before, it makes for a rather dramatic stage presence, Veronika Jarůšková with her mass of golden hair and a golden yellow dress catching the stage lights, the rest of the quartet in the most subdued of subfusc. And there’s a lot of drama in the performances too. But in one respect, the way the quartet play couldn’t be further from what is visually suggested — the equal balance, the closeness of the ensemble, the intense way they listen to each other, is as ever remarkable. So here they are, playing Haydn’s Op. 76 No. 1, Prokofiev’s second String Quartet No. 2, and then Pavel Haas’s String Quartet No. 2 (that’s the one with percussion in the final movement). On this occasion, I thought, the Prokofiev was especially fine: it is difficult to imagine the deeply affecting Adagio being played better.
Next, here is Elisabeth Brauss, also performing at Wigmore Hall to the warmest of receptions:
The recital started Beethoven’s Op. 109 Sonata, which inspired Elisabeth to quite mesmerising playing with heart-stopping moments: transcendental music, and a performance to more than stand comparison with the very best I’ve heard. Sadly, this part of the recital is no longer available online. But in the rest of an engagingly varied programme she offered us some rarely performed Hindemith, Brahms’ late four Klavierstücke, and Schumann’s Faschingsschwank aus Wien, all done with such verve and then wonderful delicacy, as variously called for — just a delight. You can watch here.
Thirdly, let’s revisit the extraordinarily stellar Lea Desandre, filmed by candlelight, from Rouen … escaping our mad world for an hour. Sheer delight again, and just wonderful singing and playing.