So this one is completely and shamefully serendipitous. I actually don’t know what I typed into Google that produced a Christmas Oratorio by Purcell, and I also don’t know how on earth I missed the fact that Purcell wrote such an Oratorio.
Anyway, I have found it now, and it really is classic Purcell, from the magnificently lavish bass solo (with those fabulous low notes) to the little minuets for the trio of alto, tenor and bass, to the big chorus just when you were wondering where the sopranos were (they were biding their time and saving their fortissimo for the chorus). I love the little reflective bits punctuated by excitable choir, and the hyperactive halleluias at the end are a complete delight.
There is so much to love about this, and I really can’t give you a lot of analysis because I am still discovering it myself and just delighting in its perfect Purcell-ness.