Crescendo means start softer.
No one will notice if you are playing MP and drop down to P at the beginning of a crescendo. They will, however, notice the big crescendo. There are many corollaries to this.
Don’t play a loud passage any louder than the softest note.
Ron Bishop offered this advice about Ride of the Valkyries: “George Szell said little notes are like little children. They require more attention.” You will not find a better performance of the Ride than Szell and Cleveland. Mr. Bishop is a wonderful teacher and a marvelous person with a wealth of knowledge. There is a list of the top 10 things a golf fan should do. Play the Old Course at St. Andrews is one. Shake hands with Arnold Palmer is another. There should be a musicians list too. Musicians may not get to play Carnegie Hall but they can shake hands with, and better yet, take a lesson with, Ron Bishop. Be sure to include Ride of the Valkyries. I consider myself blessed. Thanks to Mr. Bishop I got to play at Carnegie Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra and thanks to my wife searching her ancestral roots I got to play the Old Course at St. Andrews.
I took some lessons with Ed Anderson, bass trombonist during the Szell/Wagner recordings. He said of it that they felt like they were playing the sixteenth notes twice as loud as the rest of the passage. When he heard the playback he was a believer. I wish I could share this with players I hear at tuba displays. I also recommend taking excerpt lessons from trombonists. They are more likely to be on an audition committee than a tuba player.
I used to sing in a do-wop group, bass, of course. One time we ventured out of du-wop and sang the Country-Western song Elvira. I was feeling my oats and really belted out the ‘Giddy Up a Oom Poppa Oom Poppa Mow Mow’. I have a low C but it’s not as loud as the octave above. The low C sounded incredibly feeble. I quickly learned to sing that lick no louder than the low C and take full advantage of the microphone.
Jack Nicklaus was on the driving range hitting 7 irons. A loud mouth in the gallery kept repeating that the great Jack Nicklaus hit his 7 iron 150 yards, the same as he did. Nicklaus, seeming somewhat annoyed, turned and said “Watch this.” He hit his 7 iron 225 yards He then turned and added, “I choose to hit my 7 iron 150 yards.”