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Stockhausens signature

"The score certainly preserves this fantastic joy in my mind and soul during the many months of composing this work. There is something unique about the adventure to combine two harps which are normally tuned in diatonic scales and to synthesise them into one large chromatic harp.”
Karlheinz Stockhausen, February 15th 2006

"Marianne Smit and Miriam Overlach unite as a single being, human and superhuman, supernaturally singing in song and sound, switching between the hymn "Veni Creator Spiritus", intoned into a mantra of sacred phonemes unleashed from their original meaning, distilled and elevated to a higher level, and a reverberation once again materialized and pulsing, like a nebula in which new stars, the two harps, are condensed, sometimes even with overwhelming violence.
Roberta Pedrotti, September 26, 2017

"Freude CD review: The performers on the CD, Marianne Smit and Esther Kooi, are the same who gave the world premiere. Their playing, which results in a lively realization of the score, stands out in sensibility of tone, as well as in accuracy and sense of flow when it comes to navigating the often complex rhythmic structures. The singing is beautiful in its expression."
Albrecht Moritz, May 1 2015

SAM / INTO Magazine

“A work of beauty and intricacy, characterised by melodic fluidity and textural variety combined with a deeply resonant harmonic language.”
Christian Mason - Sound And Music (SAM) INTO Magazine, July/August Edition 2010


“A perfect synthesis of sound and instrumental sound and vocal sound, text and music, spirituality and timing. A Jubilus for the 21st Century!”
Musikansich Magazine, May 8th 2010


“The excellent sound design by Stockhausen, and above all the manual and vocal virtuosity of its two performers, Marianne Smit and Esther Kooi, ensures that the work enriches the catalog of the Stockhausen-Verlag with yet another original, beautifull piece.”
Musikansich Magazine, February 21st 2009

London Southbankcentre

"Two harpists play and sing words from a medieval hymn in what is one of the most striking and beautiful of Stockhausen’s late creations."
London Southbankcentre, 2008

Le Monde

“Due to the formidable interpretation by its dedicatees, the harpists Marianne Smit and Esther Kooi, Freude produced the effect of a fountain of youth”
Le Monde, March 2008

“These exceptional musicians consistute Stockhausen's last find for his elite of superb personal performers. The uncanny beauty of this music is undoubtedly one of the pearls of Stockhausen's last years, and will no doubt receive a lot of further attention in this country following this phenomenal premiere.”
Delia Casadei - Musical Criticism, November 11th 2008

London Telegraph

“Harpists Marianne Smit and Esther Kooi were simply astounding, playing and singing this 45-minute epic with great poise and beauty of sound. This has shown that the alleged loopiness and musical poverty of Stockhausen's final years is a myth.”
London Telegraph, November 10th 2008


“The musicians were technically brilliant and totally at one with the seemingly intuitive but fascinating musical journey: indeed they seemed to embody the music within the performance and themselves.”
Classicalsource.com, November 7th 2008

Dusted Magazine

About Joy for two harps: “An octave, a glissando, or certain vocal harmonies lend overwhelming unity to a work that thrives on diversity.”
Dusted Magazine, November 20th 2007

NRC Handelsblad

“Their play was of impressive perfection, the result of endless tuning under the guidance of the com-poser. Synchronous tempo-changes and spot-on chords; Kooi and Smit seemed to be fused with each other and the composition.”
NRC Handelsblad, April 23rd 2007


“Marianne Smit and Esther Kooi played their instruments with a refined virtuosity.”
Anthony Fiamura – Trouw, April 23rd 2007


"The Joy of Stockhausen"
Parool, January 3rd 2007

Noordhollands Dagblad

"Young harpists write music history" Noord-Hollands Dagblad, June 2nd 2006