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On February 11, 2008, the Vienna Philharmonic began rehearsals for an intensive phase of work with Valery Gergiev, during which time twelve concerts were performed in Vienna, Cologne, Paris, London, Amsterdam and New York. The first of these was given for the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna on February 14th in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein. Claude Debussy's "Prelude a l'après-midi d'un faune," Serge Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Concerto in G minor, op. 16, with Yefim Bronfman as soloist, as well as the 6th Symphony in B-flat minor, op. 74 ("Pathétique"), by Peter Ilich Tschakowsky made up the program. This was followed by the 6th Subscription Concerts on February 16/17th, which featured the Overture to "La forza del destino" by Guiseppi Verdi, the Symphonic Poem "Les Préludes" by Franz List and Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony in E-minor, op. 64; and the 4th Philharmonic Soirée on February 18th, for which were performed the five movement version of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie dramatique "Roméo et Juliette", the Prelude and Liebestod from Richard Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" and Debussy's tone poem, "La Mer".
These were followed by the "Vienna Philharmonic Cycle" in Cologne on February 20th, in which the subscription concert program was repeated with the addition of two encores by Johann Strauss: "Die Libelle", Polka major, op. 204, and "Ohne Sorgen", Polka schnell, op. 27. On the next day the same program was played again in Paris in the Théatre des Champs-Élysées, where the orchestra was greeted by Dominique Meyer, long-standing director of that house, who has recently been designated director at the Vienna State Opera. On February 22nd and 23rd, there followed two concerts in London at the Barbican Centre, on which the Berlioz-Wagner-Debussy-Program (with "Die Libelle" and "Ohne Sorgen") was repeated first and the following day, Verdi's Overture to "La forza del destino", Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Concerto and the 6th Symphony by Tchaikovsky (with the encore "Panorama" from Tchaikovsky's ballet, "Sleeping Beauty"). On February 25, the Vienna State Opera made a guest appearance in Amsterdam, whereby Peter Schneider conducted the orchestra in the Concertgebouw in a concert version of Mozart's "Cosi fan tutti". One day later in the very same hall, Valery Gergiev conducted Berlioz's "Roméo et Juliette" and Tschaikowsky's 5th Symphony with "Die Libelle" and "Ohne Sorgen" as encores.
On February 27, 2008, the orchestra travelled to the 20th annual "Vienna Philharmonic Week in New York". Valery Gergiev, the artistic director of St. Petersburg's Mariinskij-Theater, conducted this traditional event for the first time and, like the previous concerts in Vienna, the programs featured composers with ties with St. Petersburg, either having made guest appearances there or even spending several years of their lives in the Russian cultural center. On February 29, at Carnegie Hall in honour of the memory of Herbert von Karajan, who had in 1989 conducted the very first "Vienna Philharmonic Week in New York", Hector Berlioz's "Roméo et Juliette"; Richard Wagner's "Vorspiel and Liebestod"; Claude Debussy's "La Mer", and the encore Johann Strauss' "Vergnügungszug" Polka schnell, op. 281, were performed. On March 1st, Claude Debussy's, "Prélude a l'aprés-midi d'un faune"; Sergei Prokofiev's, 2nd Piano Concerto with Yefim Bronfman and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky's, 6th Symphony, (with the encore "Panorama" from Tschaikowsky's "Sleeping Beauty ") were played, and on March 2nd, Verdi's Overture to "La forza del destino", which received its world premiere in 1861 in St. Petersburg, Franz Liszt's "Les Préludes", and Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony were on the program, with Josef Strauss' "Die Libelle" and "Ohne Sorgen" as encores.