Classical picks: Tribute to Prince; a conductor's masterful final work

Black Pearls, Purple Rain. The Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra pays tribute to Prince on Friday at the Dell Music Center in a side-by-side performance with local amateurs. Conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson leads the ensemble in tunes including "Raspberry Beret" and "The Beautiful Ones." Information: 267-702-2809, - Peter Dobrin

Swan song recordings always have a special mystique, even if they aren't very good. But the Beethoven Missa Solemnis, conducted by the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt and released on Sony Classical, is taken from his 2015 final concerts. It does more than show him at his best - it's one of the best recordings ever of this monumental but problematic masterpiece. The Arnold Schoenberg Choir and Concentus Musicus Wien manage to be both majestic and intimate, aided by a quartet of soloists - Laura Aikin, Bernarda Fink, Johannes Chum, and Ruben Drole - that stresses intensity of expression over glamorous vocalism. Harnoncourt's characteristic gravitas finds its ultimate platform in Beethoven.

- David Patrick Stearns