Johann Nikolaus Hanff (1663–1711) was a North German organist and composer. Little is known about his early life. Till 1696 he lived in Hamburg where he was a music teacher. By his own saying, Johann Mattheson was one of them. From 1696 Hanff was organist at the Eutiner Hof of the prince-bishop of Lübeck. After the death of bishop August Friedrich and the dissolution of the Eutiner Hof, probably in 1705, Hanff returned to Hamburg, where his two children were born in 1706 and 1711. On August 26, 1711 he took over the organist chair at the Schleswiger Dom, however he died some months later.
Only 6 choral preludes by Hanff's hand are known. And that is a pity because these 7 are of high quality. The source for this transription of Hanff's prelude to "Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit" is the Frankenberg manuscript, written by Johann Gottfried Walther and nowadays in the posession of the Nederlands Muziekinstituut in Den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands). There must be another source for this work, because the Breitkopf edition differs on several points of Walther's version. Intruiging in Walther's version is the spot where he writes a bar of 6 quarter notes instead of 4. If this signifies an error on Walther's part is then perhaps a bit of the original music missing?
The recording was done with the Hauptwerk software and the sampleset, made by Sonus Paradisi, of the Schittger organ in the St. Martini-kerk, Groningen (http://www.sonusparadisi.cz/en/organs/netherlands/groningen-st-martini.html).
Score available here: http://partitura.org/index.php/johann-nicolaus-hanff-war-gott-nicht-mit-uns-diese-zeit