Boreal Ballad is a two page advanced unaccompanied clarinet solo by Tom Heimer. It is very expressive, with a wide range and some extremely difficult passages.
The form in general is slow-fast-slow. The style of the slow sections can be compared to the studies “Double Sharps and Double Flats” and “Mixed Tonalities Free Flow” in The Most Advanced Clarinet Book. The fast section is in the style of the studies “Ascending Patterns” and “Descending Patterns”.
The piece depicts the seasons of the subarctic Boreal Forest of Northern Manitoba. Beginning in the calm Summer and midnight twilight, Fall approaches. September snow and early November freeze up of lakes and rivers. Winter brings months of minus 30 and days with 16 hours of darkness. Gradually the first signs of Spring occur in April, with the breakup of lake and river ice in late May. Finally, a return to the brief, wonderful bug infested Summer with 10:30 P.M. sunsets and nights that never get totally dark, completing the cycle.
Boreal Ballad is available at Sheet Music Plus.