Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organization, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include two Passions, the Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor,  The Well-Tempered Clavier, more than 200 cantatas and keyboard works. His music is revered for its intellectual depth, technical command, and artistic beauty.

According to his obituary, Johann Sebastian Bach wrote "five passions, of which one is for double chorus". Two works have survived: the St. John Passion (performed 1724, 1725, 1732 & 1749) and the St. Matthew Passion (1727, 1729, rev. 1736, 1742), this last