The chart-topping king of the Viennese waltz boasts a global following of millions, but how does his latest record measure up?

In our new weekly column we’ll be putting the most talked about phenomena in the arts through their paces and seeing if the buzz is deserved or if it’s just a lot of hot air.

André Rieu’s Roman Holiday

For our inaugural feature we thought we should go for gold, and where better to start than with André Rieu. The fiddling Dutchman rocketed to the top of Australia’s Aria chart last week, but is his cheesy Italian romp of a record a creamy mozzarella or last week’s gorgonzola?

Well, it’s a bit of both, I suppose. The opening track,  Mio Angelo sets the tone. Penned by Rieu himself as a wedding gift for Mirusia, his long time Australian soprano-in-chief, it has a dubious Latin pedigree save that its title is in Italian. It is, however an earworm, and although Mirusia comes from the Sarah Brightman school of singing, she manages to put in a respectable performance, floating some attractive high notes. On the downside, the swooping...