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Chopin the pianist has been greatly overshadowed by Chopin the composer. When Chopin the pianist is mentioned, it is his dreamy gaze and supple wrists (as well as countless female admirers gathered around the piano returning that same dreamy stare). But Chopin was a formidable pianist in his own right: after all, he was able to play, from start to finish, all twenty-four of his etudes, a set of pieces so demanding that even today’s great pianists feel taxed after performing them. Two things perhaps account for this oversight: for one, any pianist for whom no extant recordings exist is likely not to weather time well. Secondly, Chopin’s coeval and friend, Franz Liszt, was of such legendary prowess that Chopin himself wished he could play his own etudes the way Liszt did. Nevertheless, Chopin deserves to be remembered not just as a composer of challenging pieces but as a pianist capable of executing, with panache, these very pieces.

Which of the following, if true, would cast the most doubt on the author’s contention regarding Chopin the pianist?