See my review of the Hugo Wolf Quartett in today's Washington Post:
Charles T. Downey, Hugo Wolf Quartett at Dumbarton Church
Washington Post, October 17, 2011
The Hugo Wolf Quartett came to play serious music, and they did so with severity of concentration and devotion to the craftsmanship of sound, devoid of theatrical contortion and hair-flipping. In the first concert of the season Saturday at Dumbarton Church in Georgetown, the mostly Austrian members of the string quartet (the second violinist was born in Switzerland) put all of their performance’s considerable drama and engagement into the music, rather than into their gestures and facial expressions.
Live in Lockenhausen (Haydn quartets), Hugo Wolf Quartett
Unlike some other string quartets, these four musicians did not feel the need to scrape every last ounce of sound from the strings. Beginning with a glowing rendition of Schubert’s one-movement “Quartettsatz” in C minor, D. 703, they played with a mellow amber tone that was carefully balanced and rarified. The cello did not growl, the viola did not bark and the violins did not wail over the top of the ensemble. The intensity of the performance came from the fleet tempo and the rise and fall of expressive phrasing.
Stephen Brookes, Hugo Wolf Quartet at the National Gallery of Art (Washington Post, February 5, 2008)