Dominion Records were a Toronto based company founded by Canadian Music Sales Corporation in 1950. Dominion released a range of recordings through to the late 70s, and famously released an LP of songs and nursery rhymes for Canada’s favourite children’s TV show (CBC) Mr Dress Up. This particular title formed part of a series of 3 volumes dedicated to educating young musicians. Volume 1 to Canadian piano pieces played by Warren Mould; Volume 2 (this one) to music for clarinet played by Avrahm Galper; and Volume 3 to music for the flute, played by Robert Aitken. It is believed that Volume 2 is one of the earliest known releases, solely dedicated to Canadian clarinet music.
This piece is, however, not the record sleeve itself, but in fact the 16 page insert which accompanied the release. This descriptive booklet provides valuable information on the history of the clarinet as well as a biography on Avrahm Galper. Additionally it provides further reading on each piece of music within the LP, including an evaluation of difficulty, composer biography, a history of each piece, performance concerns, and analysis with score examples.
The design, by Margrit Kapler, juxtaposes the classical restraint of the Swiss grid, with that of the exuberance of the time — especially in her pairing of colour, bold graphic symbol and type choices, Helvetica and Davida Bold. One assumes Davida was selected for its fun, decorative forms with it’s nod to Victorian-era design. The approach successfully manages to retain its serious, academic side, whilst simultaneously appealing to the hipper, younger audience in which it was targeted at, making it quite the distinctive ensemble.