Maurizio Pollini's decades-long career has been so closely linked with the music of Chopin that it might seem an odd oversight that the pianist has neglected the Nocturnes until now. He did record a handful of these pieces in the 1960s, but this masterful new release of the complete Nocturnes -- arguably the composer's most popular works -- is a long-awaited and fitting companion to Pollini's albums of the Polonaises, Etudes, Preludes, Scherzos, and Ballades. All of this shelf space wouldn't add up to such an imposing legacy if Pollini's Chopin performances weren't so insightful and unique. Less sentimental than most pianists, he dispels the cloudy vagueness that can afflict this repertoire when a performer exaggerates its "romantic" qualities. Instead, Pollini emphasizes the latent drama Chopin infused into his small forms, often revealing the Nocturnes' affinity with the Ballades. If Arthur Rubinstein's 1965 version has long been the gold-standard recording, it's revealing just to compare the timings: Less inclined to linger, Pollini shaves almost a minute off each of the 19 pieces, clocking in at just over 90 minutes (against Rubinstein's 107). But Pollini's playing never feels rushed; he still takes notable liberties with tempo and allows the listener countless details to savor.