by Peter Feher
There was an unspoken tension between the composers on the Akron Symphony’s January 18 concert. Gustav Mahler’s hour-plus Fifth Symphony dominated the one-night-only program at E.J. Thomas Hall, which also featured an uncharacteristically short work by Richard Wagner — no slouch when it comes to profundity and grand gestures in his own music. Yet Wagner’s somewhat humble place on the program provided a conceptual key to Mahler’s self-contained, sometimes overwhelming symphony.