The Australian pianist’s 99-CD traversal of the complete Liszt piano music is a staggering achievement. Now it’s available as a download.

Leslie Howard must be one of the most hardworking, indefatigable musicians around, and he holds the Guinness Book of World Records title to prove it. For the past twenty-five years he has dedicated himself to the mammoth task of recording every known note of Liszt’s piano music, including all the transcriptions of other composers’ works, multiple versions of the same pieces and discoveries Howard himself brought to light through tireless musicological research.

His efforts have earned him the Guinness World Record for the largest recording project ever undertaken by any solo artist, as well as recognition as the undisputed world authority on Liszt.

To celebrate the bicentenary of the composer’s birth, Hyperion Records has released Howard’s Liszt odyssey in a sprawling 99-CD boxed set. It is a surprisingly compact package, but completists who really can’t spare the shelf space need not despair: this inexhaustible trove of Romantic piano music is now also available as a high-quality download.

Hyperion is offering all 7,255 minutes of the Liszt series in MP3 or FLAC formats. But digital collectors take note: at 26GB for the higher quality files you are likely to blow out your monthly quota, and with Internet speeds as they are in Australia, the National Broadband Network may be up and running by the time the entire set successfully downloads.

In the April issue of Limelight, now on sale, we chat with Leslie Howard about his monumental recording project and about Liszt the composer, the performer, and the man. He also reveals his plans to record – you guessed it – more Liszt. 

For your chance to win the complete 99-CD boxed set, fill in Graham Abbott’s Liszt Quiz in this month’s magazine.